Homophobic Election Video Stirs Controversy in Russia

Conchita Wurst Still 2014

Conchita Wurst Still 2014

Two local election candidates used the image of Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst to emphasize their anti-gay attitudes

Law enforcers in northwest Russia's Murmansk region have launched a probe into an election video, released by two local city council members, running for reelection.

The video depicts several cartoon figures resembling this year's Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst under a sign reading "There will be a parade!" in an apparent reference to repeated bans on gay pride parades in several Russian cities.

Then, the two election candidates, Oleg Guz and Almaz Gismeyev — who, incidentally, represent the ruling party United Russia — are shown shaking hands to an offscreen announcement of their election slogan: "Against empty talkers and gays."

Originally released online by the candidates themselves, the video earned notoriety when the gay rights website GayRussia.eu reposted the video, and several Russian gay rights activists filed complaints, claiming that the video "incites enmity and hatred."

Last May's Eurovision victory by the bearded Austrian drag queen Wurst, triggered outrage among conservative politicians and state officials in Russia, who claimed it was another sign of degrading moral values in the West. They called to ban Wurst from performing in Russia, but the singer has shown no intention to tour there anyway, against the backdrop of what is generally viewed as discrimination against the gay community.

Last year, a controversial law banning "gay propaganda among minors" was enacted, viewed by the gay community viewed as another crackdown.

See the controversial video below.