In the wake of the passing and enforcement of the discriminatory “anti-gay” legislation in Russia, EBU executives responded to an open letter concerning the position of the Eurovision Song Contest on LGBT issues.
Responding to the inquiry were Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, and Sietse Bakker, Event Supervisor. The letter first acknowledged the EBU’s concern of discrimination towards LGBT individuals, especially those who are fans of Eurovision.
The executives continued by announcing their support for the LGBT community and the belief for equal treatment of everyone, no matter their race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
While the EBU recognizes a neutral position towards the doings of the world’s governments, they felt the need to express their belief that the Eurovision Song Contest is a powerful medium for bringing together people of all different backgrounds.
The fact still remains that Russia continues to allow and support the discrimination of the LGBT community. The continued concern about the treatment of LGBT athletes in the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, has led many to question visiting Russia.
One could also wonder how the Eurovision community would be treated if Russia ever hosted the contest with such legislation in place. Would there be censorship of the LGBT community? Would the contest be adversely affected? Would there be any “special rules” for the participants?
But, it is gratifying to the LGBT community, as well as the Eurovision community, that the executives of the contest support a fair, non-discriminatory atmosphere for everyone involved. They are the ruling class in all matters of the organization of the contest, and, at least now, it is known that they won’t stand for hate.
You can view the EBU letter here.