LGBT activists in Moscow have shrewdly rescheduled this year’s pride events to coincide to that city’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest, guaranteeing them a global stage should the Russian government follow through on its promise to once again ban their celebration.
Activists said they would ask contestants to support gay rights by wearing lapel pins onstage on May 16, the final day of competition. The event, in which contestants perform songs submitted by each of the countries in the European Broadcasting Union, is one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world. “We believe this is the best way for those who support democratic values in Europe and who take part in the show to bring support to human rights campaigners in Russia,” said gay activist Nikolai Alekseev, according to Reuters India. Russian authorities have repeatedly banned gay events in the country, and violent counter-demonstrations have taken place when activists proceeded against the official directives.
Eurovision is considered to be the most-watched non-sporting event in the world.