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Lady Gaga accused of promoting gay rights at concert in Russia

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
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A conservative Russian lawmaker is threatening legal action against American pop star Lady Gaga for allegedly promoting gay rights to minors during a concert in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sunday night.

Vitaly Milonov, a member of the ruling United Russia party in the St Petersburg assembly and the architect of a city ordinance that bans gay “propaganda,” accused the singer of breaking the law at the beginning of her show, reported Reuters.

Lady Gaga, arriving in St. Petersburg, Russia on Dec. 7.
Photo via Lady Gaga on Facebook.

Lady Gaga, who has long campaigned for gay rights in the U.S., was accused of using her first appearance in Russia to show her support for LGBT people in the country.

“We saw that in addition to music, songs and such, there were direct calls for 12-year-old citizens to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community,” Milonov charged.

Speaking through a translator from the stage, Gaga reportedly called for respect for gay rights, saying: “Lady Gaga wants to say that she expects respect from others – she’s not here to offend anyone’s religion or faith, she’s here to unite us.”

Offstage, Gaga said that her managers had received a call threatening her with arrest or a $50,000 fine she made any comments regarding gay rights, Reuters cited local media as saying.

Milonov said he plans to “contact prosecutors and the law enforcement agencies to carry out a thorough investigation of the situation,” according to Life News, a Kremlin-friendly tabloid.

“When people tell kids ‘you must support sexual minorities’, that can create a false equivalence for them between traditional and non-traditional relationships,” he reportedly said.

Prior to the concert, Milonov had unsuccessfully attempted to bar anyone under 18 year old from attending.

Last month, a St Petersburg court dismissed a $10 million lawsuit against Madonna initiated by Milonov and a group of anti-gay activists for allegedly violating the same anti-gay “propaganda” law during a concert in August.

Madonna responded by calling the city ordinance a “ridiculous atrocity.”

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