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Russian court dismisses lawsuit against Madonna for promoting homosexuality

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Russian court has dismissed a lawsuit against pop superstar Madonna, rejecting claims that her actions during a concert in St. Petersburg in August violated a local law against promoting homosexual behavior.


On Thursday, judge Vitaly Barkovsky, 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, reported The Guardian:

During a day-long hearing, the court examined YouTube footage and was shown screenshots of Madonna’s Facebook page as proof of her support for LGBT 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.

The lawsuit was filed just days after Madonna angered conservative Russians with her support for the punk band Pussy Riot — three of the band’s members were sentenced August 17 to two years in prison for a protest inside a Moscow cathedral.

In St. Petersburg, a law passed in February and which came into force on March 30, makes it a crime to disseminate “gay propaganda” or “promote” homosexuality to minors.

Anti-gay Russian activists pointed to the presence of children as young as 12 at Madonna’s concert on Aug. 9.

Madonna did not face jail time, but she could have had to pay significant damages — the anti-gay groups suing her sought $10.7 million. She ignored repeated requests to attend the hearing.

St. Petersburg is one of four regions in Russia to criminalize the dissemination of “gay propaganda” — the others are the Ryazan, Arkhangelsk and Kostroma regions.

Supporters of the ordinance say the law is necessary in order to promote traditional Russian values.

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11 more reader comments:

  1. Yeah but what about pussy riot?

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:26pm
  2. Sad, I guess if you look for a reason any idiot can find something against the gay community…FOR REAL…STRONGER MILITARY??? YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME :)

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:28pm
  3. … Good!?! SOME-sanity-STILL left-IN-Russia!!!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:28pm
  4. Oh I sure she was really friggin’ afraid. She should sue Russia’s court system for being an Asshole. She probably has enough to pay that friggin’ country. Ummmm people we’re here better get used to it.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:45pm
  5. good thank you russia glad to see some good left in this world

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 5:56pm
  6. If Russians only remembers Russia’s history over the last 100 years or so this wouldn’t have been an issue

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:18pm
  7. Fuck the Russians

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:43pm
  8. Loser commies!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 6:43pm
  9. The world looks. America has to set the democratic standard when most fail.

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 8:32pm
  10. That’s encouraging! Until now the Russian courts have pretty much gone along with the government. Let’s hope this is a trend!

    Posted on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 10:42pm
  11. I knew it — Putin may be a secret friend of Madge.

    Posted on Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 5:53am