Sanremo Song Festival Opens Amid Controversy

Katy Perry, who’s not dating Benji Madden, and for some reason Paul Sculfor, Cameron Diaz’s current love, attended a 59th San Remo Song Festival 2009 photocall. Jim Carrey, Kevin Spacey, Annie Lennox, Burt Bacharach and Hugh Heffner are all set to appear at the festival. The chaos of flashbulbs at the event are the least of the event’s worries. Gay groups and consumer associations are up in arms over the Sanremo Fest.

One of the more famous artists, 36-year-old Milan singer-songwriter Povia, has caused uproar among gay groups with his entry, Luca Was Gay, a song apparently about ‘converting’ gays to heterosexuality. Povia has previously come under fire over a magazine interview in which he declared that ‘”people aren’t gay, they become gay on the basis of who they spend time with.”

“This song represents a wound for all gay people who are fighting against homophobia and ignorance in Italy,” Arcigay President Aurelio Mancuso reiterated Monday. “You don’t change sexual orientation like a pair of shoes, it’s rooted in our nature,” he said, adding that five major gay right’s groups will stage a protest in the city on Saturday.

Let’s see how this one plays out.

Click any photo to check out all 20+ photos of Katy Perry and Paul Sculfor in the gallery!