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Croatia’s Eurovision denies being a massive homophobe

Croatia’s Eurovision denies being a massive homophobe

Jaques Houdek said LGBTI equality would bring back Sodom and Gomorrah

Croatia’s Eurovision entry faces accusations of homophobia.

Jaques Houdek was successful in the second semi-final last night (11 May), so he will be performing his song My Friend at Saturday’s (13 May) Eurovision final.

He has produced 13 best-selling albums in his home country.

But in the past, he also made headlines outside of his music career – for making homophobic statements.

He was named Homophobe of the Year 2006 by Croatia’s leading gay website Gay.hr.

They awarded Houdek the questionable honor for calling same-sex unions ‘sick’.

In a 2005 interview Houdek gave to magazine Tena he also said the ‘gay and lesbian population cannot be equal with other citizens because it means a return to Sodom and Gomorrah’.

In the same year the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) listed him in their report of ‘public figures who gave homophobic statements’.

Zagreb Pride also nominated Houdek for the title of Homophobe of the Decade in 2011.

They described him as ‘without doubt the biggest homophobe in Croatian showbiz’.

At the time, he was running in the grand final of Dora, a former X Factor-style TV show looking for Croatia’s Eurovision entry.

‘I have gay friends’

In response to the 2011 accusations, Houdek released a statement on his Facebook page in which he apologized and said the associations and accusations were ‘obviously’ brought up ‘to discredit me and the other nominees’.

Houdek said he had gay friends and there is no evidence for the claims.

’It is not true that I am homophobe, which can be confirmed by my friends, colleagues and acquaintances from business circles who are gay,’ he said.

‘Likewise, any form of hatred does not correspond to my personality, so to call me “hater” or “greatest homophobe on Croatian show business”, is at the very least incorrect, because no evidence exists for such accusations.’

Houdek said none of his accusers had asked him for his opinion, although he was ready to ‘freely answer’.

‘I’m in the music for love,’ he said.

‘Love is my main driver in life and I really have nothing against love of any kind.’