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Eurovision Winner Måns Zelmerlöw of Sweden Under Fire for Homophobic Statements

Mans Zelmerlow

The contest winner once stated that homosexuality was unnatural. 

Saturday night, Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow was crowned the winner of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

Zelmerlow, who beat Russia's Polina Gagarina with his song "Heroes," was long considered the favorite through-out the multinational competition. Now the singer is being criticized for anti-LGBT comments he made in 2014.

Pink News reports that when Zelmerlow appeared on Swedish celebrity cooking show Pluras kok last year, he made some less-than-sensitive comments about gay people. After calling homosexuality abnormal, Zelmerlow followed up with: "It isn't equally natural for men to want to sleep with one another."

He continued: "There isn't anything wrong with it at all, but the more natural thing of course is that men and women make children together."

Zelmerlow later back peddled in a statement saying: "I want to apologize to all who take offense. I believe and hope that the vast majority know that I respect differences and all forms of love."

This may come as a surprise since Sweden, one of the top LGBT travel destinations, is known to be quite liberal and tolerant and Stockholm hosts a very popular gay Pride parade every year. Last year, the big winner of the campy contest was Conchita Wurst, a gay man (Tom Neuwrith) who performs in drag and has a beard. Wurst later U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take a stand against bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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