RUSSIA’S Eurovision contestant Polina Gagarina was confronted with a question over LGBTI rights during the first semi-final press conference where she qualified for this Sunday’s grand final.
Questions came from the floor thick and fast but it was a question from ESCin5, a Turkish Eurovision website, who asked Gagarina about Russia’s reputation regarding LGBTI rights and whether she would consider singing a song in support of LGBTI Russians.
“Well… I just can say that my song is about love and it’s about speaking… everyone speaking one language: the language of love,” Gagarina said.
“It’s no difference who you are, we are people and we can make bridges.
Speaking to the Star Observer, ESCin5 journalist Latif Can Derin said: “My question was not actually for Polina, it was a question for Russia and international media.
“Polina was just a bridge for my question.
“I wanted to say something about general LGBTI problems, not only about Russia. Because I can’t say the [Turkish] government loves LGBTI, therefore I wanted to ask that question to Russia as a Turk.”
Derin did not completely appreciate Gagarina’s answer, and in his opinion, it failed to address the question.
“She [said] that her song means ‘love’ but… the problem is that which love did she mean?” he said.
“There is only one love according to the Russian government and its between women and men.
“Therefore her answer wasn’t the right answer. I wanted to hear something like ‘my government hates LGBTI but me and my team support LGBTI rights’.”
It appears the be the first time Gagarina has been asked about treatment of LGBTI people in Russia by international media.
You can watch Russia perform in the grand final this Sunday morning 5am AEST on SBS. For the first time, Australia’s vote officially counts towards deciding this year’s Eurovision winner.