Russian anti-gay campaigners who attended a recent Madonna concert in St Petersburg are suing the star for $10.5 million for her gay rights advocacy, saying they were personally offended by her rallying against St Petersburg’s “homosexual propaganda” ban.
They also muse that, just “maybe,” her stand for LGBT rights could have turned some of the young people at her concert gay.
“She had been warned with words that she should behave in line with the law and she ignored it. So we will speak in the language of money,” said Darya Dedova, one of the 10 activists who filed the lawsuit in a St Petersburg court.
“Of course, it is difficult to measure moral damages and suffering but maybe people who earn money regardless of moral rules will better understand this.”
Dedova added that if they won the case, the money would be sent to orphanages.
Alexei Kolotkov, another of the activists who filed the suit, said: “Maybe someone does not see the link but after Madonna’s concert maybe some boy becomes gay, some girl becomes lesbian, fewer children are born as a result and this big country cannot defend its borders – for me it causes moral suffering.”
During the August 9 concert the pop star is reported to have handed out pink bracelets to concert attendees. A sign above the stage declared that the bracelets were meant to show “tolerance for the gay community” and encouraged fans to wear them.
Given that Madonna had publicly vowed that while on the Russian leg of her her MDNA tour she would use her time in the country to protest the propaganda ban, and that the campaigners went along regardless of this, one might be forgiven for thinking their suing her was premeditated.
The St. Petersburg ban sailed through the area’s lawmaking chamber in February of 2012. The ban, one of several regional laws designed for the so-called protection of minors, has gained notoriety for its stridency, something that has only increased since the Russian Duma began flirting with a nationwide ban.
This week also saw Moscow’s highest appeals court refuse to throw out an order by city officials that effectively bans Pride events for the next 100 years. That matter now seems destined to go before the European Court of Human Rights.
During the St Petersburg concert Madonna also staged a personal prayer for the release of the now convicted feminist punk band Pussy Riot, whose detention and trial has garnered international attention.
Photo Credit: Truu (talk)
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