ITALY – Two male members of Måneskin kissed on stage during their performance at the Polsat SuperHit Festival in Sopot, Poland, to protest the country’s rising homophobia.
After performing their worldwide smash I Wanna Be Your Slave, which was also their Eurovision entry, bandmates Damiano David and Thomas Raggi closed their set with a kiss on the lips.
Following cheers from the audience, Damiano said: “We think that everyone should be allowed to do this without any fear. We think that everyone should be completely free to be whoever the fuck you want. Thank you Poland! Love is never wrong.”
The band shared the performance to their social media pages alongside Damiano’s statement, to which bass guitarist Victoria De Angelis responded: “We all should be proud of who we are. We love you!”
In recent years, the Polish government has been condemned for targeting sexual minorities and supporting organisations that spread homophobia.
“LGBT-free” zones came to fruition after the country’s ruling Law and Justice Party inspired several towns in Poland to be free from “LGBT ideology” – putting vulnerable LGBTQ+ citizens at risk of discrimination, prejudice and violence.
Fifty countries from around the world subsequently signed an open letter in protest, calling for Poland to “protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities.”
“To this end, and in particular to shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance,” the letter reads. “This includes in particular sectors such as education, health, social affairs, citizenship, public service and public documents. We pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI and other communities in Poland and around the world, as well as the work of all those who seek to ensure human rights for LGBTI and other persons belonging to communities facing similar challenges, and to end discrimination in particular on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Last year, President Joe Biden spoke out against Poland’s homophobia after quote-tweeting an article from ABC News, in which Ursula von der Leyen – the new head of the European commission – criticised their ruling party for their anti-LGBTQ+ approach to policy and human rights.
“Let me be clear: LGBTQ+ rights are human rights — and “LGBT-free zones” have no place in the European Union or anywhere in the world,” he wrote.