UK: Amnesty International stages mock Eurovision Song Contest at Gay Pride March in London

Elton John joins call on all European countries to respect gay rights

Tomorrow (Saturday 30 June) Amnesty International members will join the annual Gay Pride march in London and stage a mock Eurovision song contest – on a huge float and featuring a giant scoreboard, compere and music.

The human rights organisation has chosen this theme to draw attention to how LGBTI people experience very different treatment and protection across Europe – and how in some East European countries their rights are currently seriously at risk.

There have been attempts to ban Gay Pride marches in Russia, Moldova, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and several other countries. Organisers have faced violent counter-demonstrations and threats because of their sexuality.

The Amnesty International supporters at Pride will be awarding “null points” to some European countries, as they entertain other marchers and hand out action cards inviting people to petition East European countries for better protection of gay rights.

Elton John, an Amnesty International supporter, said:

“The right to choose who you love is a very basic human right. No government should ever interfere with that. And no one should try to make us stay in the closet and invisible by closing down Pride marches.

“Across eastern Europe gay people are facing a lot of hate and threats against them. If people everywhere stand up on their behalf and say that this is not acceptable and it has to stop, we can make a difference.”

Amnesty International is very concerned at the disturbing rise in homophobia across eastern Europe. Besides attempts to ban gay pride marches Amnesty International is monitoring the cases of several gay rights campaigners who are receiving death threats because of their work in Kosovo.

There are also legal moves against gay people. In Poland the ruling League of Polish Families has introduced legislation in Parliament to fight 'homosexual propaganda', effectively a ‘Polish Clause 28’. Under the legislation LGBT organizations would be barred from schools and gay teachers who reveal their sexuality would be fired from work. In Latvia the Parliament has voted against a law which would have protected gay people from discrimination.

East European gay rights activists and Amnesty International spokespeople are available for interview.

  • Find out more about the LGBTI network

View latest press releases