The representative of Croatia on Eurovision 2017 accused of homophobia

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Croatian singer and songwriter representing Croatia with the song "My Friend" Zeljko Houdek aka Jacques Houdek, performs on stage during the Grand Final rehearsal of Eurovision Song Contest 2017 at the International Exhibition Centre in Kiev on May 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Jaques Houdek who reached the Eurovision final with a pop-opera song ‘My friend’ turns out to have made a number of homophobic remarks in the past. In 2011, he was nominated for Homophobe of the Decade by the country’s capital LGBT event, Zagreb Pride. He branded gay people sick and they, in turn, branded him the biggest homophobe in the local showbusiness. He also said that the “gay and lesbian population cannot be equal with other citizens because it means a return to Sodom and Gomorrah” in a 2005 interview with the magazine Tena. The statements led to him being listed in a report by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Intersex Association (ILGA) under the category “public figures who gave homophobic statements”.< Houdek denied being homophobic saying that there are a lot of gay people among his friends and there was no evidence to prove his homophobia, to his mind such accusations mean nothing but an attempt to discredit him.

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