- July 31, 2014
Post submitted by Yushuang Sun, HRC Global Engagement Intern
Russia is set to resurrect a Soviet alternative to Eurovision after an Austrian drag queen, Conchita Wurst, won this year’s Eurovision competition, according to Newsweek.
The idea was proposed by Valery Rashkin, the deputy leader of the Communist Party, who demanded that Russia establish a straight alternative songfest named, “The Voice of Eurasia”.
The rebooted show will showcase contestants from the six member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. This could also involve Japan, South Korea, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Victory for Conchita Wurst at this year’s Eurovision Song prompted an outpouring of anti-LGBT sentiment from politicians in Russia. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Russian Member of Parliment and former Speaker, claimed her victory as “the end of Europe.” Vitaly Milonov, the author of Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law, had called for the country to boycott the contest.
Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1990s, animosity toward the LGBT community remains strong in Russia. Last year, the country passed the anti-LGBT propaganda law banning the dissemination of LGBT information to minors. The adoption of this draconian law has further polarized a country already hostile to LGBT community. Russia has also banned adoption of Russian children by foreign gay couples and routinely rejects applications to hold gay rights demonstration. HRC released the Russia: Year in Review report documenting a year of rising discrimination, persecution and violence against LGBT Russians.