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Nov 3, 2014 8:53 AM

UN chief, Austrian cross-dresser urge tolerance

The Associated Press

VIENNA (AP) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined Austrian cross-dressing pop star Conchita Wurst on Monday in calling for an end to bias based on a person's sexual orientation.

Wurst teamed with Ban on the sidelines of a U.N. conference on landlocked developing nations to deliver their message of tolerance.

Pledging to continue his fight "against transphobia and homophobia," Ban told a crowd gathered at the U.N.'s Vienna headquarters. "Discrimination has no place in the United Nations, nor in the world of the 21st century."

"I stand strong for equality," Ban said. "We are unstoppable," he added, quoting Wurst's words on the night of her victory at this year's Eurovision song contest.

Praising Wurst as "promoting respect for diversity," Ban said "she confounds people's preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality and she appeals to them to accept her as she is. That is a powerful message."

The bearded Austrian diva said she dreamt of "a future where we don't have to talk about sexual orientation or the color of your skin."

And, of course, she sang "Rise Like a Phoenix," the song that won her the Eurovision prize.


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