While the theme of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was “Celebrate Diversity” it has now comes to light that Croatian singer Jaques Houdek has faced claims of homophobia after he was nominated as “Homophobe of the Decade” from the country’s biggest LGBT event, Zagreb Pride, in 2011.
They awarded Houdek the questionable honor for calling same-sex unions ‘sick’.
In a 2005 interview Houdek gave to magazine Tena he also said the ‘gay and lesbian population cannot be equal with other citizens because it means a return to Sodom and Gomorrah’.
Houdek is a popular figure in Croatia, however, having produced 13 best-selling albums there; he originally rose to fame in the competition to become Croatia’s Eurovision entry in 2002, and is now one of the mentors on the country’s version of The Voice.
As reported by Pink News, Houdek published a denial statement in 2011 on Facebook, saying: “It is not true that I am [a] homophobe, which can be confirmed by my friends, colleagues and acquaintances from business circles who are gay.
“Likewise, any form of hatred does not correspond to my personality, so to call me [a] ‘hater’ or ‘greatest homophobe in Croatian show business’, is inappropriate, because no such evidence exists for such accusations…”
Showing more integrity and courage than the International Olympic Committee could ever hope for. The Eurovision Song Contest has threatened to ban Russia from ever hosting another contest over its anti-gay propaganda laws.
Eurovision organizers have demanded they outline guarantees regarding creative freedom of the acts, and the safety of organizers and fans.
Speaking to Gay Star News, a Eurovision spokesman said: ‘As always with any hosting country, we ask for guarantees for security of all the people involved in the Eurovision Song Contest. ‘If Russia wins in the foreseeable future, and they tell us they cannot guarantee the safety of organizers or spectators, we will take action. It is one of the conditions of hosting Eurovision. The safety of our organizers, acts and spectators is our number one priority.’ If they fail to guarantee no gay person would be arrested under the homophobic legislation, like they have failed to do so at the Sochi Olympics in February 2014, then they will be banned from hosting the contest.
Already the country of Sweden has said that they will withdraw if Eurovision is ever held in Russia while its anti-gay LGBT laws are still on its books.
Last years Eurovision Contest held i n Sweden brought in 1.1 billion Swedish kronor ($177m, €132m) in advertising value alone.