Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Russia bans parade for Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst

conchitahero.jpg
conchita2.jpg

Russia's treatment of gay rights has once again come under scrutiny as it announced it is banning a celebratory parade in honour of Conchita Wurst, the winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Officials in Moscow turned down a request from the leaders of a gay rights group to honour the Austrian singer, real name Thomas Neuwirth, who performs in drag as alter ego Conchita.

"We informed them that the event could not take place," Alexei Mayorov, from Moscow's mayoral office, told Russian news agency Interfax, adding that the parade application was rejected to "respect morality in the education of the younger generation".

There were also concerns it would provoke clashes between gays and their opponents, Interfax reported.

Ironically, the parade had been planned for May 27 - the 21st anniversary of Russia's legalising homosexuality.

While being gay isn't illegal in Russia, the country is widely seen as hostile to its LGBT population and president Vladimir Putin has come under fire for bringing in new laws seen as cracking down on gay rights.

Since his return to power in 2012, the country has criminalised the distribution of information on homosexuality to people under the age of 18 and upheld a ban on gay pride marches in Moscow for the next 100 years.

Austrian Eurovision entry Conchita Wurst celebrating her victory

The group behind the parade for Conchita said it will "urgently appeal" the decision and if they are still met with refusal, will join forces with a proposed gay pride parade on 31 May.

Before her rendition of Rise Like the Phoenix led her to victory at Eurovision, Wurst was called a "pervert" by Russian politician Vitaly Milonov.

“I can only say ‘Thank you for your attention!’” she responded. “If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it. I'm just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard."

Following her win, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, head of Russia's Liberal Democratic party, dramatically declared: "There's no limit to our outrage. It's the end of Europe."

Thankfully, Russian pop star Filipp Kirkorov, who produced Moscow's Eurovision entry this year, presented an alternative view for his country, saying: "It was the song that won, and in my opinion it was a beautiful song."

He added: "With a beard, without a beard, a woman, a man - it is unimportant, this is a competition, a song contest."

Related

gay-honeymoons.jpg

Gay-friendly honeymoon destinations

Untitled-1.jpg

The Russian Tampax Ad

rexfeatures-3663659b.jpg

Five things you need to know about the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest

sheeba.jpg

From Lulu to Bucks Fizz: The 20 greatest fashion monents from Eurovision

hero.jpg

Russia's answer to Banksy

untitled-2.jpg

Ban Bossy: Beyonce and Jennifer Garner join campaign to take back the word

Comments

More

Pirelli’s all-black 2018 calendar makes a statement about inclusivity

The tyre manufacturer aims to continue shaking off its reputation with a beautiful fairy-tale shoot

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Nicole Scherzinger's glam squad to Reese Witherspoon's hair hack

by Nicola Colyer
21 Jul 2017

Lana Del Rey is changing her aesthetic because of Donald Trump

"I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing Born to Die."

by Moya Crockett
20 Jul 2017

BBC ever so politely shuts down backlash over first female Doctor Who

Some “unhappy” viewers contacted the broadcaster about Jodie Whittaker’s casting

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

“I have my demons”: Neelam Gill on racism, modelling and mental health

Stylist’s cover star is outspoken, honest and on the up

by Anita Bhagwandas
19 Jul 2017

Actresses who have braved playing iconic women from history

As Felicity Jones signs up to play Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we take a look at other movie stars who have played real-life legends

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Madonna launches legal battle to get her Tupac breakup letter back

The emotional letter was set to go up for auction – but Madonna says it was taken without her consent

by Moya Crockett
19 Jul 2017

Kate Middleton’s honest response to being called “perfect”

The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t here for the myth of perfection

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Jul 2017

Christine Bleakley is over people asking when she’s going to have kids

“Everyone seems to be fascinated by my body clock…”

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Jul 2017

Woman cancels her wedding and invites homeless people to the party

“It’s a great opportunity to spread love.”

by Moya Crockett
17 Jul 2017