RUSSIA: Court Acquits Madonna Of Threatening National Birth Rate By Promoting Homosexuality
The Guardian reports:
It is the country that has sent members of the punk band Pussy Riot to crumbling prison colonies and its richest man to an isolated northern jail. ButRussiamet its match on Thursday when it attempted to silence the world’s biggest pop star. Madonnawas widely criticised in Russia this summer for voicing support for Pussy Riot during a Moscow concert and speaking out forgay rightsduring a performance in St Petersburg. A senior official called her a “moralising slut” for the former, and nine claimants brought a $10.7m lawsuit against her for the latter. On Thursday a court St Petersburg ruled against the plaintiffs, members of various conservative groups who argued that Madonna’s comments violated a new law banning the promotion of “homosexual propaganda” to minors and would lead to the destruction of the nation. Violation of the law is punishable by fines of up to 500,000 roubles (£10,000). During a day-long hearing, the court examined YouTube footage and was shown screenshots of Madonna’s Facebook page as proof that the material girl was crazy for gay rights. “I am here to say that the gay community and gay people here and all around the world have the same rights – to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love,” Madonna said during the performance in August, as concert-goers waved gay pride flags and flashed pink wristbands the pop star had handed out as symbols of support. The claimants argued that Madonna’s performance would adversely affect Russia’s birthrate and therefore its ability to maintain a proper army. They cited posts on the Facebook page condemning the law as proof she had prior knowledge of the potential criminality of expressing herself. Madonna ignored repeated requests to attend the hearing, held in a tiny courtroom in Russia’s second city. “St Petersburg’s laws were brutally violated,” one of the claimants, Marina Yakovlyeva, told the court, news agencies reported. “In the coming years, this type of violation could become the norm. But we have created a precedent – any artist coming to our city will know now what laws exist.” Russia has been harshly criticised over the law, which has also been adopted in eight other regions. Some MPs have floated introducing it on a federal level. Adoption of the law in St Petersburg, long seen as Russia’s most westernised city and its cultural capital, has led to a global outcry. All Out, a gay rights group, as called on travellers to boycott St Petersburg. The Canadian government has issued advisories to gay citizens planning to take a holiday there. The judge in the case, Vitaly Barkovsky, deliberated for more than an hour before delivering his verdict, but appeared to treat the case with scepticism from the start. After one claimant, Vitaly Orlovsky, said Madonna’s concert would prompt the divorce rate to skyrocket, Barkovsky asked him why he was suing no alcoholics, since alcoholism was a well-known cause of divorce in the heavy-drinking country. Vitaly Milonov, a local MP who has led St Petersburg’s anti-gay campaign, accused Madonna of showing no respect for the court and said the star’s actions answered the question “who’s that girl”. “You can see what kind of person she is – for her, Russia is a cow from whom she can come and get milk – that is, money – and then leave, while not following our laws,” he told the Guardian.
Russia: Madonna To Face Trial In Saint Petersburg For Promoting Gay Rights
A Russian court has ruled that there is sufficient evidence to sue Madonna for promoting gay rights during her ‘MDNA’ tour, according to reports. In August of this year, it was reported that the singer had enraged some citizens byhanding out pink anti-homophobia wristbands to crowd members during a show in St Petersburg and telling them to “fight for the right to be free”. Her stunt was in response to a new regulation adopted in St Petersburg in March of this year, which saw the city’s yearly gay pride parade banned as it promoted “gay lifestyles” and the “propagation of homosexuality” - both of which have now been outlawed. A lawsuit was subsequently submitted by members of the Union of Russian Citizens, the People’s Assembly and the New Great Russia party against the singer, with a lawyer for the group claiming that her actions caused “psychological stress and emotional shock” amongst the audience. Now, according to The Times, a court in St Petersburg has given the go-ahead for the £6.5 million lawsuit to continue as the singer “crossed a line” by handing out the bracelets to “children as young as 12”. Madonna did not attend the hearing and is not expected to be present at future court dates relating to the trial, either. Madonna courted controversy throughout her tour of Russia. Previously, she used the Moscow-leg of the jaunt to express support for the jailed members of Russian punk collectivePussy Riot. In a speech to the 20,000 strong crowd, Madonna said: “I think they have paid the price for this act and I pray for their freedom,” before stripping to her bra to reveal the words ‘Pussy Riot’ written on her back. For ‘Like A Virgin’ she donned a balaclava similar to those worn by the band. She was later dubbed a “moralising slut”
NEW YORK CITY: Madonna Served Summons To Appear On Gay Propaganda Charges In Russia
Russian anti-gay activists yesterday served a summons at Madonna’s New York City home, demanding that she appear in St. Petersburg for trial on charges that she violated that city’s ban on public utterances of support for LGBT people.Russia Today reports:
The pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russian Citizens wants the Material Girl in court for blasphemy and for damaging the cultural foundations of St. Petersburg. Nine activists filed a suit against the pop star after her concert on August 9. They are seeking 333 million rubles (around US$10 million) from Madonna and from the company that organized her show. All the fuss is because of Madonna’s actions on the stage. The pop diva started her show asking fans to raise their hands with pink bracelets, which they were given on the entrance, in support of homosexual rights. It is, however, illegal to promote homosexuality in St. Petersburg. The local law, which bans so-called “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors,” was passed in March this year. “She insulted believers’ feelings, she promoted homosexuality when there were children at the concert and this is forbidden in St Petersburg. We, the residents of the cultural capital, suffered a colossal moral damage,” union spokesperson Darya Dedova was quoted as saying.
In the event that Madonna is found guilty, much less even appears for trial, an additional 50% of the $10M suit would, by law, be levied in order to further protect St. Petersburg from “homosexuals and pedophiles.”
NOTE: The lawsuit appears to be a civil action from local crackpots and not an official action of the government, although the plaintiffs surely have their support. The above-linked article does not mention if Madonna was home when the summons was served.
Madonna On Lady Gaga: Imitation Is The Highest Form Of Flattery
Gay Star News reports:
Madonna has spoken out of her love for fellow pop star Lady Gaga in the only way she knows how. The Queen of Pop and gay icon dedicated her track Masterpiece to the younger bisexual star during a performance in Atlantic City, New Jersey, over the weekend, and appeared to accuse her of copying her. She said: ‘I love her. I love her. I do love her. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.’ Perhaps most exciting for music fans, she added: ‘And one day, very soon, we’re going to be on stage together. Just you wait.’ The pop legend has previously accused her younger rival of copying her track Express Yourself on her single Born This Way. She said: ‘I thought, “What a wonderful way to redo my song”. I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was interesting.’ During her current worldwide MDNA tour the star has also been joking about the similarities of the two, performing a medley of both songs. Speaking at a concert in New Zealand, Gaga said: ‘It sometimes makes people feel better about themselves to put other people down or make fun of them or maybe make mockery of their work. ‘I don’t even want to fight back, because it’s more important to me to keep writing music.’ The last time Madonna and Lady Gaga shared the stage together was back in 2009, when they had a ‘cat fight’ in a comedy sketch for Saturday Night Live. Check out Madonna making the comments here:
Madonna Gets Fined For Supporting Gay Rights At St. Petersburg Concert
Madonna is facing charges for speaking out on behalf of LGBT people in St. Petersburg at her concert last night, flouting the city’s gay-propaganda ban.After telling fans at her MDNA gig to “show your love and appreciation to the gay community,” she was fined 5,000 Rubles (or about $150). We think she can cover it. As previously announced, pink wristbands were distributed to concertgoers before the show. Madonna also wore a black bra with the phrase “No Fear” written on her back. Vitaly Milonov, the assemblyman who introduced the city’s recent anti-gay law, was the one to submit an application to file charges. “[Madonna] testified that she does not care about the legislation of St Petersburg,” Milonov said. The organizers of the MDNA world tour, meanwhile, could be fined up to 500,000 Rubles ($15,700). Gay rights activist Yury Gavrikov isn’t impressed with Madonna’s mouthing off. He told Gay Star Newshe wishes the Material Matron would have canceled her tour instead. “Madonna as an artist and many other stars are using human rights issues for them to promote shows and make money. We don’t respect this idea. We wanted to protest the hypocrisy of the stars.’ If you want to really do something, you have to not just talk about problems, you have to do something that is politically important, powerful. Meeting with the mayor of St Petersburg or breaking out of the Russian tour is a way to attract more attention.” ‘Madonna will leave St Petersburg and she will forget about all these problems.”
U.S. State Department Issues Warning About Madonna’s Concerts In Russia
At last night’s concert in Moscow, Madonna announced support for the jailed female punk band Pussy Riot, which is presently on trial for an anti-Putin concert staged in a church.
Pop singer Madonna donned the trademark balaclava worn by punk band Pussy Riot during a concert in Moscow to demand Russia free three group members on trial for bursting into a Russian Orthodox church and singing a protest against Vladimir Putin. The U.S. singer also stripped to a black bra to show the band’s name written on her back in support of Pussy Riot’s protest in Moscow’s main cathedral against close links between the president and the clergy. “I know there are many side to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think that these three girls - Masha, Katya, Nadya - I think that they have done something courageous,” Madonna said to loud cheers from the crowd at Moscow’s Olympiysky Stadium on Tuesday night. “I pray for their freedom,” she said.
Madonna has also threatened to denounce anti-gay bills in Russia, but that apparently did not happen last night.
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