A Belarus TV host has come under fire for comments he made while commentating Eurovision.
During the Eurovision semi-final on Tuesday (14 May), the camera cut to couples in the audience, encouraging them to kiss.
But when it cut to a same-sex couple, Yavhen Perlin commented: ‘Oh, my goodness! Maybe we’d better not watch!’
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The camera then moved onto an opposite sex couple kissing and Perlin remarked: ‘Ok, so far so good.’
But a few seconds later, the camera moved back onto another male same-sex couple and Perlin said: ‘Oh, come on!’
He then commented that he hopes the cameraman can ‘finally find some cool couples’.
Swift social media backlash
After the news of the homophobic comments broke, many took to social media to express their disappointment in the Belarus commentator.
One Twitter user wrote: ‘Belarus get over yourself! It’s just kiss!’
Another remarked: ‘Perhaps this ignorant presenter has somewhat missed the point of Eurovision.’
And another simply tweeted: ‘Unbelievable!’
This year’s Belarus entry is Zinaida Alexandrovna Kupriyanovich (also known as ZENA).
She’s a singer, actress and television presenter, who has previously twice competed in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
She will represent in the Eurovision Song Contest this year with her song, Like It.
In a list of 49 European countries, Belarus came it at number 43 when it comes to LGBTI rights.
Same-sex sexual activity is legal in the country, as well as equal age of consent and right to change legal gender. But all other laws on LGBTI equality are non-existent, with a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
There are also no anti-discrimination laws for LGBTI families, couples or people in the workplace.