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Eurovision tells Russia: Protect gays or you’ll never host again

Eurovision tells Russia: Protect gays or you’ll never host again

Eurovision Song Contest has threatened to ban Russia from hosting over its anti-gay propaganda laws.

The singing competition’s organizers have sent a letter to Russia’s official broadcasters.

They have raised concerns that the homophobic legislation could impact the contest if it was held in Russia.

Eurovision organizers have demanded they outline guarantees regarding creative freedom of the acts, and the safety of organizers and fans.

If they fail to guarantee no gay person would be arrested under the homophobic legislation, like they have failed to do so at the Sochi Olympics in February 2014, then they will be banned from hosting the contest.

Speaking to Gay Star News, a Eurovision spokesman said: ‘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.’

He added: ‘The safety of our organizers, acts and spectators is our number one priority.’

In the report, a representative for Sweden is cited as saying his country would withdraw if Eurovision were held in Russia.

And with Malmo, Sweden hosting the gayest show ever with the first two same-sex kisses in its 57-year history last year, no doubt one act would want to ensure they have ‘creative freedom’ in Russia.

While Eurovision will be heading to the very gay-friendly city of Copenhagen next year, it has been held in relatively homophobic countries in the past.

When Azerbaijan hosted in 2012 and Serbia in 2008, they were able to apparently give Eurovision organizers sufficient promises over safety.

While some may think being banned from hosting Eurovision is little punishment, Sweden believes last year’s contest brought in 1.1 billion Swedish kronor ($177m, €132m) in advertising value alone.