Hungary pulls out of Eurovision amid rise in anti-LGBT talk

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Yulia Reznikov / Shutterstock.com

Hungary will not participate in next year’s Eurovision song contest, amid speculation the decision was taken because the competition is “too gay” for the taste of the government and state-run public media, says U.K.-based newspaper The Guardian. Hungaryʼs public-service broadcasting organization denies accusations.

Conchita Wurst, winner of the 2014 edition of Eurovision (Photo: Yulia Reznikov / Shutterstock.com)

While no official reason has been given for the withdrawal, the move comes amid an increase in homophobic rhetoric in Hungary, where the anti-migration prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has launched a “family first” policy aimed at helping traditional families and boosting birth rates.

Earlier this year, the speaker of the Hungarian parliament compared same-sex adoption to pedophilia, while a pro-government television commentator referred to Eurovision as “a homosexual flotilla” and said not participating would benefit the nation’s mental health, theguardian.com reports.

According to a report by local news site 24.hu, state-owned national public-service broadcasting organization MTVA (Media Services and Support Trust Fund) denied accusations. 

"We made the decision to support talents of Hungarian popular music and their value-creating productions directly, instead of taking part in Eurovision," the organization said, adding that they do not take account of artistsʼ sexual preferences.

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