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?

You can keep up-to-date on the latest Eurovision news and gossip by following the team on Twitter @wiwibloggs and by liking our Facebook page.

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Mike
Mike
8 years ago

@fotis I was asking myself almost the same question but just the other way. Why was Russia in 2003 okay with two lesbian acting girls on the ESC stage participating for their countrie. And signed ten years later for a law to make any kind of LGBT being in public illegal?

David Thielen
8 years ago

Somewhat off-topic but the State of Hawaii just passed a gay marriage bill 30 to 19! Back to the Senate to approve some small changes. And Governor Abercrombie has said he will sign it. Things do improve (slowly).

ps – My mom was one of the 30 yes votes!!

Katie Wilson
Editor
8 years ago

I can’t imagine many people would vote for Russia at this year’s Eurovision, no matter how good their song is… What’s the point in voting for them to win when if they do win the show, Russia 2015 would be awful?! Hardly any countries would enter and hardly any people would go!

D
D
8 years ago

@at least, Belarus did host Junior Eurovision though.

Z24
Z24
8 years ago

Even though, I’m not really a supporter of Eurovision becoming an LGBT symbol when it’s meant for everyone whatever you think or whatever you are, of course I’m supportive that the hosting country should state that everyone will be safe and sound in the city (or even the entire country) and actually take action on it. Azerbaijan comes to mind, when they ignored radical religious groups and stopped threats and, even though I’m only a TV watcher and Russia had an amazing stage, it’s not worth it.

at least
at least
8 years ago

EBU is 100% sure that Belarus will never host Eurovision.
You would get killed by locals if you kiss same-sex person in public places.

Julian
Julian
8 years ago

EBU’s press release is still vague but to be fair there is nothing to do more. They do not have a reason for denying the right to host to Russia if security is granted. And it will never happen is my bet. As for boycott first chance is the Olympic Games in Sochi in Feb 2014. Again I would be very surprised if one of the Scandinavian countries will take action.

D
D
8 years ago

As a Swede myself, I really hope Sweden won’t withdraw from the contest. If Russia does somehow win, I hope they just aren’t given the right to host rather than having a boycott happen.

fotis
8 years ago

ok I agree
just a reminder
wansn’t EBU in 2003 asking TATU (Russia) not to kiss?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3045939.stm