'They probably won't make it to the finals, but the Dutch entry for the Eurovision Song Contest - The Toppers - are raising hell over Russia's gay rights record.
'Singer Gordon of the trio The Toppers will boycott Saturday night's Eurovision song contest in Moscow if violence is used against a gay rights march planned for that day. Gordon told a reporter from NOS Dutch public radio: "If people of my kind are being discriminated against in such a way, I have nothing to expect from this Russia, and I will be on the first plane home."
'Russian gay activist groups are seizing the opportunity of the Eurovision song contest - which is hugely popular in the gay community - to organise a march for gay rights. Public demonstrations in support of gays and lesbians are illegal in Russia and the police often crack down on them with violence, or stand by when neo-Nazis attack demonstrators.
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