President Vladimir Putin
Russia’s self-professed “liberal” president, Vladimir Putin, has finally spoken out about bearded drag star Conchita Wurst, who recently won the Eurovision Song Contest.
Wurst’s win at the competition, in which Russia’s entry came seventh, led to widespread outrage in Russia and the Orthodox Church describing her as an “abomination.”
The Telegraph reports that speaking at a dinner in St Petersburg, Putin argued that while Wurst (really 25-year-old gay Austrian man Thomas Neuwirth) has the right live as she wants, her sexuality should not be flaunted in public.
“The Bible talks about the two genders, man and woman, and the main purpose of union between them is to produce children,” the president, who has championed laws restricting LGBT rights and freedom of expression in Russia, told the audience.
“For us it is important to reaffirm traditional values… I personally am very liberal (on matters of personal morality),” he said, adding that, “People have the right to live their lives the way they want. But they should not be aggressive, or put it up for show.”
In June last year, Putin signed a federal law banning gay “propaganda” to “protect” children, which has been used to restrict press freedom and music concerts, to ban gay Pride events and protests and has led to an increase in violence and discrimination against LGBT people.
On the night of her Eurovision win, Wurst dedicated her victory “to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. We are unity.”
When asked if she had anything to say to President Putin, Wurst replied: “I don’t know if he is watching this now, but if so, I’ll say it, ‘We’re unstoppable.’”