Madonna Sued for Violating Russian ’Homosexual Propaganda’ Law
Russian anti-gay activists Russia have served Madonna with a summons for violating St. Petersburg's controversial "homosexual propaganda" law, Russia Today reports.
The "Material Girl" received the summons after holding a concert in the city in August where she condemned the homophobic measure and voiced her support for gay rights. EDGE reported that before the concert took place, Madonna announced on her Facebook page that she would be handing out pink wristbands a day before the show to "anyone that wants to support the LGBT community."
"The wristband will be part of the show," she added. "Be prepared to raise your arm in support!"
At the concert itself, the pop diva emerged on stage with "no fear" written on her back and urged the audience to "show your love and appreciation to the gay community."
"We want to fight for the right to be free," she told concertgoers. "Do we live in fear?" the singer asked her audience. "No! We love you!" audience members yelled back.
Apparently, that was enough for the anti-gay activists to cite her for allegedly having suffered "moral damagers" from her performance. The activists delivered the summons to Madge's New York City address. The suit says she must appear in court on Oct. 25.
The nine plaintiffs want 333 million rubles, which is about US$10 million, for her blasphemous ways and for "damaging the cultural foundations of St. Petersburg," RT writes.
"She insulted believers' feelings, she promoted homosexuality when there were children at the concert and this is forbidden in St. Petersburg," Darya Dedova said. "We, the residents of the cultural capital, suffered a colossal moral damage.", Dedova is a member of the pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russia Citizens, which supports the lawsuit.
The law has been criticized and ridiculed internationally for its blatantly homophobia and vague wording. It appears to equates being gay with pedophilia and gives no specific guidelines for its application. Russia's Supreme Court upheld the law after a gay rights activist challenged the legislation.
The court also placed limits on it and was specific in the way it can be applied, EDGE reported. The ruling states that the law can only be enforced if someone is directly engaging minors in homosexually activity.
To support their suit, the activists suing Madonna claim there were children as young as 12 at the concert. But the pop star's tickets came with a warning that stated only fans over the age of 18 should attend the show.
According to RT, the singer has yet to respond to the complaints.
Dedova claims that if Madonna is found guilty, she will have to pay an additional 50 percent of what she is ordered to pay the activists as a fine to St. Petersburg's budget. She added the group will use the money to "protect" citizens from homosexuality and pedophilia.