Well it’s about time. The European Broadcasting Union, the body behind the Eurovision Song Contest, is finally getting firm with Russia over its anti-LGBT legislation.
EBU officials have written to Moscow warning that its oppressive laws could jeopardize the country’s chances of hosting Eurovision should it win.
Speaking to Gay Star News, an unnamed Eurovision spokesman explained why they are acting.
As always with any hosting country, we ask for guarantees for security of all the people involved in the Eurovision Song Contest.
If Russia wins in the foreseeable future, and they tell us they cannot guarantee the safety of organizers or spectators, we will take action.
It is one of the conditions of hosting Eurovision.
This marks an escalation in the EBU’s efforts to exert pressure on Russia. It also marks a strong shift in tone. Over the summer it released a much vaguer response, which didn’t actually say much at all.
The EBU isn’t just looking out for fans, but also for its own officials, many of whom are gay. They had a grand time in Malmö, where Krista Siegfrids’ lesbian kiss became the visual centerpiece of a particularly LGBT-friendly affair. It’s fitting, then, that a Swedish official has reportedly told the EBU Sweden will withdraw from the contest if Russia hosts.
What do you think? Would LGBT fans and staff be safe in Russia given its new laws against “homosexual propoganda”? How can we get Putin to take Dina Garipova’s song more seriously?
Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)