Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Madonna, Lady Gaga could face charges in Russia for violating visas

Observers say threat is veiled attempt punish them for their vocal opposition to Russia's anti-gay laws.
Monday, August 5, 2013

MOSCOW — Madonna and Lady Gaga, two of the biggest pop stars in the world, could face charges in Russia over allegations that they violated their visas when they held concerts there last year, but observers say the warning is a veiled attempt punish them for their vocal opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws.

Madonna (left) and Lady Gaga

A spokesperson for the Prosecutor General of Russian Federation confirmed to LGBTQ Nation on Monday that the office is considering prosecution, claiming the entertainers entered the country under incorrect paperwork.

During concerts in St. Petersburg, Russia, last year, both Lady Gaga and Madonna denounced the city’s harsh anti-gay law from the stage.

In St. Petersburg, a law passed in February 20012 makes it a crime to disseminate “gay propaganda” or “promote” homosexuality to minors. A similar law has since been enacted nationally in Russia, fueling concern the saftey of LGBT Americans during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The investigation was touched off by a formal complaint from St. Petersburg regional parliamentarian Vitaly Milonov, architect of the local anti-gay ordinance and co-author of the national legislation, which was signed into law in June by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to Russian officials, Madonna, who played in August 2012, and Gaga, who appeared in December of 2012, were admitted under “cultural-exchange visas.”

Advertisement
“These visas do not grant their bearers the right to engage in any commercial activity,” Marina Gridneva, spokesperson for the Prosecutor General’s Office, said adding that prosecutors are now considering asking Russia’s foreign ministry or federal immigration service to press charges.

Milonov had previously attempted to launch criminal proceedings against the singers based on the St. Petersburg [local] law, but those efforts failed.

Both women are outspoken advocates of the LGBT community globally and had made supportive statements from the stage during separate concert appearances in the Russian Federation last year.

Madonna called the city ordinance a “ridiculous atrocity.”

In a Twitter post earlier Monday, Lada Gaga tweeted: “The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom.”

A spokesperson for the U. S. State Department Monday noted that Russian immigration and visa law(s) can be extremely complicated but declined comment when asked about specifics regarding the prosecutors’ announcement regarding the singers.

Russian entertainment promoters are concerned that efforts to pursue legal action against the singers could have a chilling effect on future tours by western performers, as well as tourism for this winter’s Sochi Games.

Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , , ,

Filed under: Europe

52 more reader comments:

  1. fuck Russia

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:47pm
  2. The homophobes in Russia can go shove it!

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:50pm
  3. wow… What a stretch! Well, good luck to them… Those girls probably have more financial backing than then entire Russian govt, so wish russia luck..

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:50pm
  4. -___- Hey Russia is going to change sooner or later but shut up
    America isn´t completely gay friendly either
    That´s why most if us move away from the country during these bad times

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:51pm
  5. Take em both and let Pussy Riot! go free.

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:52pm
  6. Russian authorities are also saying that LGBTQ athletes will also face legal trouble during the Olympics as well.

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:53pm
  7. Russia don´t half hate the American music scene don´t they. First The Bloodhound Gang kicked out and now these two having troubles.

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:58pm
  8. America may not be the most gay friendly but at least we´re making progress…where as Russia…

    ..well, Russia isn´t.

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:58pm
  9. Fuck the russian government period america should just fucking right them off until they get rid of their stupidity. Boycott the games boycott the tours boycott everything to do with them until they get that dick out of office even his own people dislike him. Lets just go cold war on there asses pull the big rainbow curtain way up and say no more americans for you. The other countries can do whatever they want.

    Posted on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11:59pm
  10. The things coming out of Russia these days are troubling. I wouldn´t be surprised if they became more nationalistic and war-like as their population dwindles and their economy crumbles. They´ve done it before, but perhaps the next time they won´t be so “peaceful.”

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:00am
  11. Nothing agains the russian people though they can´t help that they are living under a fucking pricks rule. I kind of hope they revolt in mass numbers.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:00am
  12. Russia can go F itself! Go to hell Pu(ke)tin!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:01am
  13. Blow Russia up

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:18am
  14. Russia had a higher LGBTQ rights approval rating than we did just 2 or 4 years ago. WTF happened?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:22am
  15. I´m Russian and openly gay, thank god I live in America. Russian government is fucked up. I do agree that the world should boycott everything Russian. Gay bars all over the world already stopped serving Russian vodka. They can have their own “all Russian” Olympic Games.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:23am
  16. Oh hell no… Don´t even go there with this stupid shit.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:25am
  17. With the condemnation of the entertainment world and the political stigma of Russia´s negative stamp of bigotry and inequality so overtly displayed, Russia is coming to a revolutionary turning point in its treatment of minorities. Putin is condemned and so is the Old Guard and they are dying out for a lack followers.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:31am
  18. first the gays now pop starts XD

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:32am
  19. stars

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:32am
  20. Good they both look like fucking Idiots, and I am more than sure they both know the laws over in other countries… Lock them up, they are UGH!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:35am
  21. I bet they didn´t know the laws, don´t hate dude

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:36am
  22. They should learn a lesson from the Tao Te Ching which states: “Accept the ways of others; Respect first, your own.” They are guests in another country and need not be aggressive, boisterous and rude. Concentrate your efforts on the LGBTQ situation in the United States. We have more than our share of hatred right here.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:36am
  23. If their fanbases are any indication, I´d love to see the death match that would occur if GaGa and Madge were cellmates.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:41am
  24. some people here are really not better than the russian government.hatehatehate…..of course they knew the law- thats why they did what they did.they know, they reach a lot of people, so whats the harm in speaking out and use the platform to try to change some minds?why are pussy riot heroes (only that no one outside russia understands them…) but when strong female artists speak out, its fucked up?so what do you people want?that only russians are aloud to protest cause they are russian, or that the whole world cares and speaks out (including pop7rock-stars- who are human too by the way…)?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:45am
  25. Ok Russia you all are just plain crazy now.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:01am
  26. oh this will be interesting to watch

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:01am
  27. side note, those are not flattering pics

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:07am
  28. Russia is soon to become the laughing stock of the world!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:08am
  29. I want to see them face charges but not for that =P

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:13am
  30. These schmucks are on the wrong side of history. Not that I was going to go to the Olympics but I truly hope many choose not to go. This country doesn´t deserve to host an event that´s core is about equality, fair-play & peace

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:21am
  31. Putin unleashed a monster. LGBTs were already being beaten & killed in the USSR before. Given how insane enough people are in Moscow currently about killing, harassing, imprisoning, humiliating, torturing, penalising all gays, lesbians, bis, transgendereds & anyone supportive of them or sympathetic to them, I do not see how the 2014 Olympics can go on as planned in Moscow. What does Putin & these LGBT haters want? A homosexual holocaust?

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:30am
  32. As for Russia, I would like to stress that there could be hate against the Putin gov and the ruling class for which it works, but not against the country as whole. Russia did have also very (at least in comparison with other world in that time) pro-LGBT times under Lenin (sadly, Stalin totaly fucked that). The current situation, the putinist hate against LGBT community reminds me of Tzarist/white-guardist antisemitism. The urge for the scapegoat may forespeak incoming revolution (hopefully driving in more human rights and equality, hopefully not betrayed again).

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:33am
  33. You keep on keepin on gals. Nobody´s gonna lose any sleep over those fuckin Russian idiots. We´ll maintain the spotlight´s on you…no matter HOW hard they try to steal it from ya :)

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:37am
  34. oh boo hoo russia

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:56am
  35. Merci Madonna, Lady Gaga !

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 2:01am
  36. Just LOVE these two women!! <3

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 2:03am
  37. Russia needs to be taken down a notch.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 2:45am
  38. Russia just needs to be taken down totally.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 2:55am
  39. time to punish russia

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 3:00am
  40. Worth it.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 4:19am
  41. Fk Russia

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 4:44am
  42. FK rússia!!

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 5:16am
  43. country of shame

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 5:16am
  44. Okay, okay….. tell them that they can charge Madonna… but not Gaga. Gaga is cool ;)

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 6:32am
  45. Visit the full site & join FREE today to meet other gay couples and parents who have children or are interested in bringing up children!
    IDENTICAL UPBRINGING – social networking
    http://www.identicalupbringing.com
    IDENTICAL UPBRINGING community

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:13am
  46. Good ol´ iron curtain is coming back on… Russia apparently wants to be isolated and stuck in the middleages…

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:35am
  47. This is a crock of shit!! How can they (after the fact) claim that Madonna and Lady GaGa violated their visas?! That country is full of shit, and this one is starting the beginnings of socialism just like the Russians, only the current Czar is gay friendly. Not liking this Obama-care much less the mini laws that are conveniently hidden in within it.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 10:05am
  48. This is a crock of shit!! How can they (after the fact) claim that Madonna and Lady GaGa violated their visas?! That country is full of shit, and this one is starting the beginnings of socialism just like the Russians, only the current Czar is gay friendly. Not liking this Obama-care much less the mini laws that are conveniently hidden within it.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 10:05am
  49. Guess they won´t be touring in Russia any more.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 10:45am
  50. Why are they singing in Russia anyways? They are more then welcomed to sing at home.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 1:26pm
  51. Russia is just a hot mess, like noooooo gurl don´t use visas to cover up your homophobic laws.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 4:08pm
  52. Why I have a feeling that they are going to make an “Example” of these ladies. The prison system there is not pretty. It makes our prison system look like the Hilton.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 6:58pm