The lawmaker who authored St Petersburg’s now infamous gay gag rule has said that pop megastar Madonna “will be punished” if she breaks the law while visiting the city for her MDNA tour.
St Petersburg assembly member Vitaly Milonov, author of St Petersburg’s law against promotion of homosexuality in a public setting, has reportedly said he will “personally suffer a couple of hours of her concert” in order to ensure that Madonna does not break the law.
Madonna vowed last week that she would go to St Petersburg during her MDNA tour and speak out against the law, which she termed an “atrocity.”
Milonov, regarding his attending the August 9 concert to assess its “moral content,” reportedly added:
“If Madonna or one of the organizers of the concert breaks the city law, they will be punished.”
The law bans the promotion or affirmation of LGBT identity in public, supposedly under the guise of protecting minors.
For breaking the law there is a fine of 5,000 rubles ($170) for individuals, and for officials 50,000 rubles ($1,725). The fine for legal or corporate entities is 500,000 rubles ($17,250).
Madonna’s estimated net earnings in 2010 amounted to $58 million so it may be that a threat of even the highest penalty will not be overly concerning for her.
Interestingly, Milinov is actually being sued by LGBT rights group leader Nikolai Alekseyev for allegedly defaming comments Milinov made during a television interview prior to the ban on the promotion of homosexuality being signed into law, in particular that Milinov claimed Alekseyev’s LGBT rights advocacy was being funded by foreign groups.
St. Petersburg Governor Gregory Poltavchenko signed the law earlier this month.
Now, Russian Orthodox Church officials have begun lobbying for the government to adopt a nationwide ban on the promotion of gay rights.