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Hungarian government hits back over claims country is pulling out of Eurovision because it’s ‘too gay’

Lily Wakefield November 28, 2019
Eurovision Song Contest 2019

Conchita Wurst performs live on stage during the 64th annual Eurovision Song Contest held at Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on May 18, 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Michael Campanella/Getty)

The Hungarian government has hit back at claims that the country pulling out of the Eurovision Song Contest because it’s “too gay”.

According to The Guardian, a pro-government TV station called the competition “a homosexual flotilla” earlier this year and said not taking part would benefit the nation’s mental health, while this week a source inside the local public broadcaster MTVA said media heads believe the contest is “too gay”.

The source said that Eurovision’s well-documented links with the LGBT+ community are the reason the country will not compete in 2020.

But according to Shaun Walker, the Guardian journalist who originally wrote the story, MTVA responded by saying the claims were “outrageous and unacceptable”.

The statement continued: “These press statements about one’s sexual orientation violate human dignity, journalism ethics and rule of laws.

“The professional decision has been made that instead of attending the Eurovision Song Contest in 2020, directly the talents of the Hungarian pop music and their valuable performances will be supported.

“We want to lay down that one’s sexual orientation is not being considered at any performance or event.”

Walker, commenting on the statement on Twitter, said: “Could be all kinds of reasons for not sending Hungarian singers to Eurovision but “because we decided to directly support” them hardly makes sense.

“And given the current rhetoric around LGBT issues, and that people inside the channel assume it’s the gay issue, a legitimate story.

“But nice use of the ‘We’re not homophobic, you’re homophobic for suggesting it’ defence.”

Zoltán Kovács, Hungary’s Secretary of State for International Communication, also denied the claims.

He wrote on Twitter: “What are you talking about? This is shameless muckraking, gossip from your liberal press organs.”

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has been one of Europe’s most powerful right-wing leaders since 2010.

In 2016 he was condemned by MEPs over his decision to block a Europe-wide agreement on LGBT rights, and in invited an anti-LGBT+ US “hate group” to hold its annual conference in the country. 

At the conference, Orbán said: “It’s a national interest to restore natural reproduction. Not one interest among others – but the only one. It’s a European interest too. It is the European interest.”

More: Conchita Wurst, eurovision, Eurovision Song Contest 2020, Hungary, viktor orban

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