It seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken the same tact as some of his senior politicians and spoken out about the recent win of Conchita Wurst at Eurovision 2014. One gets the very strong message that the Russian public gave in their high-ranking of Wurst in the tele vote has rocked the Russian political establishment and their anti LGBT legislation.
Many senior politicians in Russia voiced their outrage at the win of Conchita Wurst – an openly homosexual drag performer – at the 2014 contest. Dmitry Rogozin, deputy prime minister and Vitaly Milonov, a conservative deputy at St. Petersburg’s legislative assembly who penned the city’s “law against gay propaganda” have publicly voiced their outrage at a performer like Conchita being celebrated by Europe at Eurovision.
One could say that it was only a matter of time that Russian President Vladimir Putin had to add to this sentiment and he seems to have just done that at an official dinner in St.Petersburg where he proclaimed himself to be “personally very liberal” however he continued in his address to speak of Conchita by saying that his morals are firmly rooted in what the Bible says about “the two genders”.
“The Bible talks about the two genders, man and woman, and the main purpose of union between them is to produce children. For us it is important to reaffirm traditional values… I personally am very liberal (on matters of personal morality). People have the right to live their lives the way they want. But they should not be aggressive, or put it up for show.”
In a somewhat twist of fate/faith Conchita Wurst has found a supporter in Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. Cardinal Schonborn spoke in the newspaper Vienna Heute saying
“As we all know, there is multicoloured variety in God’s garden. Not everyone who is born male feels he is a man and the same applies to women. Such people deserve the same respect that we all have a right to as human beings. I am glad that Tom Neuwirth had such success with his artistic creation Conchita Wurst and I will pray for him.”
The Cardinal went on to say that tolerance is important and defined tolerance as “respecting someone even if one does not share his or her views.”
So what does this mean for Russian participation at Eurovision 2015? What does it mean for the contest should Russia win and host the contest again? What does this public discussion mean for Conchita Wurst’s message of tolerance?
Certainly food for thought.
Author/Editor in Chief Garrett Mulhall