August 17, 2012


Madonna Sued By Russian Activists for Promoting Homosexuality

Dave J Hogan
Dave J Hogan

Can things in Russia get any weirder today? Not only did three women from Pussy Riot get sentenced to two years in prison for singing a protest song about their president in a church, but now several outraged Russians are filing a lawsuit against Madonna for loving the gays.

Well, that's not exactly what they're suing her for, but it's the gist: They're saying Madonna broke St. Petersburg laws prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality. In case you hadn't heard, St. Petersburg—Russia's second-largest city and the site of Madge's August 9 concert—banned gay pride parades and "homosexual propaganda" in March 2012. Ignoring (well, probably motivated by) the ruling, Madonna handed out pink wristbands at her show and asked citizens to have "respect, tolerance and love" for gay people.

Now nine Russians, several of whom were not even at the concert, are claiming Madonna violated that ban, specifically the part prohibiting "propagandizing sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism among minors." Concert organizer PMI Corp., which was also named in the suit, said the tickets specifically banned children under 18, so gay rights were not promoted to underage Russians as far as they knew (whew! What a relief).

According to the Guardian, those found guilty of acceptance and open-mindedness, err, ahem, "promoting homosexuality," can be fined anywhere from 5,000 to 500,000 roubles (roughly $156 to $15,600 in US bucks). But the lawsuit filed on behalf of these scandalized citizens is actually trying to take Madonna (as well as the PMI and the venue where the show was held) for 333 million roubles, or about $10.4 million US.

So... two years in prison for singing a political song in a church, and now a $10.4 million lawsuit for handing out pink wristbands? Things are getting weird in Russia, right?