Madonna has shared on Instagram that she was fined $1 million in 2012 by the Russian government for “supporting gay rights.” The singer says she has steadfastly refused to pay the fine.
After giving impassioned speeches in favor of LGBTQ rights on stage, Madonna and Lady Gaga both faced criminal charges in the notoriously homophobic country government officials told LGBTQ Nation at the time.
In St. Petersburg, a law passed in 20012 made it a crime to disseminate “gay propaganda” or “promote” homosexuality to minors. A similar law has since been enacted nationally in Russia.
Both singers castigated the law during concerts, with Madonna calling the city ordinance a “ridiculous atrocity.”
A spokesperson for the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation confirmed to LGBTQ Nation in 2013 that the office was considering prosecution, claiming the entertainers entered the country under incorrect paperwork. Authorities alleged that they violated their tourist visas when they held concerts there last year.
A separate investigation was touched off by a formal complaint from St. Petersburg parliamentarian Vitaly Milonov, the architect of the local anti-gay ordinance and co-author of the national legislation. The complaint was dismissed.