Today, as Moscow prepares to host tonight's Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, police in Moscow, Russia used force to stop a gay rights rally in the city. Swedish Eurovision Song Contest representative, Malena Ernman has become the first artist from tonight's show to speak out about the subject.
Earlier today, Malena Ernman, who is representing Sweden in tonight's Eurovision song Contest sent a strong message of solidarity to the campaigners.This morning, she posted a mesage on her blog to support the rights of gay and lesbian citizens in Moscow, taking a brave step, she has made the following statement:
"Regarding the planned gay parade here in Moscow today I think it’s very sad that they won’t allow a tribute to love. I’m not homosexual but today I am happy and proud to call myself gay – to support my friends and fans."
Sweden's gay community has been at the forefront of promoting the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden. The Schalger Pride Eurovision Song Contest party has been a permanent fixture on the Thursday night of Stockholm's Gay Pride celebrations every year, and attracts a large number of intrnational Eurovision fans to the event.
Russia sent 'lesbian' girlband tATu to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 believing that their international status would win the competition. They also allowed the duo to perform at the Opening Ceremony and Eurovision Song Contest first semi final.
The news is now making headlines across the world and is the BBC website's second most viewed story today on their website already. You can read about the story at the BBC website here.
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