Earlier this year, the Russian government passed new homophobic legislation. The gay “propaganda” law imposes administrative fines on the so-called “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderism” and pedophilia to minors. Madonna vowed to speak against this anti-gay legislation when her current world tour stopped in St. Petersburg. True to her word, Madge delivered a fiery speech on August 9th to concert goers which was attended by children and adults. Here’s a portion of what she said:
“The gay community here, and all around the world, have the same rights, to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love.” – Madonna
Given that her words broke Russian law, she’s now being sued by nine Russian activists who were offended by her “gay propaganda”. Alexander Pochuyev, the lawyer representing the activists, filed the lawsuit on Friday, August 17. Along with the “Like A Virgin” singer, the concert organizer and venue are named as defendants. What’s the cost of their mental anguish? Approximately $10.5 million US dollars, roughly 333 million rubles.
“No one is burning anyone at the stake or carrying out an Inquisition. Modern civilization requires tolerance and respect for different values,” the Pochuyev argued.
In addition to the nine Russian activists, the 54-year-old singer has also angered conservative Russians because of her support for Pussy Riot. Recently, the all-girl punk band were sentenced to two years in prison for staging a protest against Vladimir Putin inside Moscow’s main cathedral. Madonna is not alone in support of Pussy Riot, several US and European artists have jumped on board, including Sting.
During her concert in St. Petersburg, Madonna spoke out in support of the group. After the verdict was issued, Madonna called on “all those who love freedom to condemn this unjust punishment.”
Do you think Madonna will be found guilty under Russian law? If so, do you think Western artists will support her if convicted? Sound off below.