Belarus Petition Opposes Airing of Eurovision 2014, Cites Transsexual Singer
Campaigners say the inclusion of Austrian performer Concita Wurst has turned the widely televised European singing competition into "a hotbed of sodomy."
MOSCOW – Citizens of Belarus are collecting signatures against the airing of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the country, saying it “propagates a lifestyle that is unacceptable for Belarusian society.”
The signatories in the post-Soviet country, sandwiched between Poland and Russia, were enraged by the fact that Austria is to be represented in the contest by transsexual singer Concita Wurst. They are demanding from the country’s information ministry, to which the petition is directed, that the airing of the contest be either canceled or the performance of Wurst be censored out.
“Thanks to European liberals, the popular international contest, which is to be watched by our children, has turned into a hotbed of sodomy,” reads the petition on the website Change.org.
The sentiment expressed in the petition is not incompatible with rhetoric of Belarusian top officials, including the country’s authoritarian leader, President Alexander Lukashenko. Earlier this year, Lukashenko was quoted as saying that it is “better to be a dictator than a gay.”
Given the political climate in the country and its conservative and reactionary ideology, a situation in which the information ministry accepts the petitioners’ demand is not unlikely. In that case, however, Belarus would face being expelled from the Eurovision song contest, which is very popular in the country.