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Can Russia really ban Ireland's Eurovision entry because it features a same-sex couple?

The promotional video for the song may violate Russia’s strict anti-LGBT “propaganda” law.

THERE HAVE BEEN rumours that Russia may ban Ireland’s 2018 Eurovision entry ‘Together’ from Ryan O’Shaughnessy because it violates their laws which prohibit so called ‘gay propaganda’.

Source: Eurovision Song Contest/YouTube

The law which was brought in in 2013  amid intense criticism and dismay prevents “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” being shown to anyone under the age of 18.

The promotional video for the song features a same-sex couple dancing in Temple Bar but there has been no confirmation yet as to whether a same-sex couple will feature in the live performance of the song.

O’Shaughnessy himself took to Twitter to address the rumour and sort of blew it up himself. The video that he linked to is from Pink News and the host doesn’t actually say where the evidence of the threat came from.

The tweets led to a couple of news outlets picking it up and running with the story including The Metro and the Irish Post.

The rules of Eurovision broadcasting are very specific. In order to take part, a country must show all live performances of all songs. They do not have to show promotional videos for the songs which is what O’Shaughnessy’s video currently is.

Whether the video would be banned is up for debate. Just after the law came in in 2014, Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen won the competition and all her performances were broadcast in Russia amid protests and petitions. Conchita did come third in the Russian telephone polls though.

Source: Anita Bugge

If Russia were to ban the video it would mean that they would have to withdraw from the competition. Something like this happened last year when they refused to take part as their entrant was banned from entering the Ukraine having performed in Crimea which violates Ukrainian visa rules.

According to Wiwibloggs, the Irish Head of the Delegation Michael Kealy said that Russia hadn’t threatened to ban the video and that it was just a rumour.

Also if they wanted to ban Ireland’s video then they would probably have to ban Finland’s video as well.

Source: Saara Aalto/YouTube

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Rachel O'Neill

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