Eurovision 2013 to feature first lesbian kiss in protest against lack of gay marriage legislation
Finnish singer Krista Siegfrids hopes to make a statement with "Marry Me"
Eurovision isn’t all about the songs. As the votes cast by the Eastern bloc show, the contest is as much about politics as talent.
Finnish entry Krista Siegfrids is about to make another political statement on Saturday when she is due to kiss a female dancer on the Eurovision stage.
Her song “Marry Me” at first appears to be sung from the perspective of a girlfriend who will do anything to get a proposal from her man.
Siegfrids sings: “Skipping dinner to get thinner/Where is my proposal?/ I know where the future's heading/ I can see my perfect wedding."
But the singer, 27, says that the entry is actually a protest against the Finnish parliament’s decision to turn down a vote on gay marriage legislation last year.
"I don't think 'Marry Me' is political," said Siegfrids. "It's about love and tolerance. But gay marriage is not allowed in Finland and that's wrong. I wanted to make a statement about that."
Eurovision organisers forbid "lyrics, speeches, gestures of a political or similar nature", however Siegfrid’s entry has made it into the final on Saturday.
Organisers have intervened previously in “protest” performances, blocking Georgia's 2009 entry because of its thinly disguised references to the then Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, following an outbreak of hostilities between the two nations.
Turkish and Greek newspapers have already reacted negatively towards the lesbian kiss according to Swedish media, with more homophobic responses expected from Eastern European countries on Saturday.
Siegfrids said: "Homophobic people are angry with me for doing this. But I'm planning a surprise at the end of my performance. It's live on TV, so nobody can stop me."
The singer hopes her entry will be popular with British viewers. "Since you can't vote for your own entry, I hope you will vote for Finland. I know the show is watched on huge screens in gay bars in Soho and I want to get everyone's support in Britain," she said.
Benjamin Cohen, publisher of PinkNews, said: "Eurovision is often referred to as the 'gay world cup', thanks to its camp celebration of popular culture and the fact that so many gay people tune in.
"So a song that appeals to gay voters is a particularly clever idea, especially given the Europe-wide debate on the introduction of same-sex marriage."
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