Gay men could replace the mini-skirted women who traditionally kiss the winner on the podium of one of the world’s leading cycle races.
A left-wing party in Amsterdam is proposing they be used in the first leg of the Giro d’Italia this May.
“It should be possible for gay men to celebrate with the winner,” said Fjodor Molenaar, an alderman from the Green Left party, which is part of the city’s governing coalition. One rider in 10 is gay, he said.
The idea is winning support in the notably tolerant city, which annually hosts one of the world’s most elaborate gay pride parades.
But Albert van der Meulen, whose television station is arranging the ceremony, said he would rather have women on the podium.
“I don’t even think the race participants want to be kissed by men,” he said.
The station has arranged a beauty contest to select two people to present the flowers to the winner of the Amsterdam leg. Most entrants are young women, but Mr van der Meulen confirmed three are gay men.
The municipality of Amsterdam says it will support whoever wins.
“It’s an appealing proposal that fits well with the Amsterdam’s tradition of supporting gay emancipation,” said a city spokesman.
Philip Tijsma of COC, a Gay and Lesbian activist group, also embraced the proposal.
“There are Moroccan lesbians in veils. There are gay teachers in Christian schools. There are soccer players who are bisexual,” he said. “So why can the glamour girls not be replaced by guys?”