Moscow authorities have turned down gay activists’ application to hold a parade honoring drag queen Conchita Wurst, winner of this year’s Eurovision song contest.
Wurst’s appearance in the continental cavalcade of cheesy pop and garish costumes sparked controversy in Russia, where some called for state television to edit out Wurst from the finals’ live broadcast.
Although homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1990s, animosity toward gays remains strong in Russia. The county last year passed a law banning the dissemination to minors of so-called “gay propaganda” and routinely rejects applications to hold gay rights demonstrations.
Alexei Maiorov, head of Moscow’s security department, was quoted by the Interfax news agency Thursday as saying the Wurst parade was rejected because of concerns it would provoke clashes between gays and their opponents.