Friday, August 22, 2014


Transmission

Madonna Being Sued In Russian Court For Expressing Herself

Madonna performs in St. Petersburg on August 9.
Madonna performs in St. Petersburg on August 9.
The "Material Girl" herself seems unlikely to materialize, but that hasn't stopped a court in Russia's second city of St. Petersburg from agreeing to hear a $10 million lawsuit against Madonna.
 
Nine antigay activists, including members of the Trade Union of Russian Citizens, filed the lawsuit, saying the pop diva broke local laws by expressing support for homosexuality during a performance in St. Petersburg on August 9 which children as young as 12 attended.
 
The lawsuit also seeks damages from the organizers of Madonna's show and the owners of the concert venue.
 
Hearings into the lawsuit are due to start on October 11.
 
Madonna stripped down to reveal "No Fear" written on her bare back.Madonna stripped down to reveal "No Fear" written on her bare back.
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Madonna stripped down to reveal "No Fear" written on her bare back.
Madonna stripped down to reveal "No Fear" written on her bare back.
During her St. Petersburg show, Madonna took off her clothes to reveal black lacy underwear and the words "No Fear!" written on her back. She also called on people to respect homosexual rights, passing out pink bracelets to concertgoers that she said represented tolerance for Russia's gay community.
 
St. Petersburg passed a citywide law earlier this year making it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors, even though homosexuality itself is legal in Russia. On her Facebook page, Madonna called the law a "ridiculous atrocity."

A few weeks later, on August 28, Madonna kicked off the U.S. leg of her world tour, telling a crowd in Philadelphia that they should "never forget how lucky you are to live where you live and to have the freedom that you have."
 
While also sporting the words "No Fear" on her back, Madonna told the 20,000 fans in attendance that 80 men were serving time in jails in St. Petersburg only because they were gay.

As the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reminds us:

Homosexuality was only decriminalized in Russia in 1993, and antigay sentiments, including among officials, remain strong. In 2007, former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov described attempts to hold a Gay Parade in the capital as "satanic." There has never been a sanctioned Gay Parade in Russia.

According to a 2010 survey by Russia's independent Levada Center polling agency, 74 percent of respondents said gays and lesbians were "amoral" and "mentally defective," while only 45 percent said they should enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals.
 
Homosexuality was still classified as a mental disorder in Russia as late as 1999.

A man demonstrates at Madonna's St. Petersburg concert.
A man demonstrates at Madonna's St. Petersburg concert.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Alex from: Ghent, Belgium
September 17, 2012 17:11
The probem is that Russia does not live under a state of law.

It means that the result of the trial will be the decision indicated by the regime to the judge.

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 17, 2012 22:18
If in russia there is a law that prohibits to do what madonna did

would be a country that ""does not live under a state of law""
if no one took action

and not as you think if no one did anything .

This would be a failure state of law" !

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
September 17, 2012 17:29
The title of this article is wrong; it is not the court itself that is suing Madonna.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
September 18, 2012 08:57
Ah, Konstantin, it's always such a pleasure to open one of the "articles" on this marvelous web-site for the first time and notice that you have already taken the trouble to comment here in my name. Grazie mille, como sempre :-)!
My real comment to this piece of "news" was the following: Hopefully when it gets really tough for Madonna, the govt of Ecuador will grant her political asylum to escape the persecution :-). But then again, you know: people in Ecuador happen to have good taste for music, and given that the "lady" has spent her miserable life composing primitive Anglo noise (and presenting it as "music") and saying uninteresting platitudes in the primitive language of Beavus and Butthead, the Ecuadorean govt will most probably think twice before giving her the assylum :-).
P.S. By the way, RFE/RL, blocking my messages related to the topic of you, Beavuses, being burned alive in embassies in more than 30 countries in the world did not prevent people in these countries from continuing to do so :-)).
Cheers from Vienna!
In Response

by: Moderator
September 19, 2012 10:35
Thank you for pointing out this oversight. It has since been amended.

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
September 17, 2012 18:38
Its a crying shame that most russkies think homosexuality is amoral mental disorder-it is the solid as a rock moral spiritual lgbt basis of modern western orthodoxy and all who dont share this view are insane satanic perverts who should be stripped down,tied to lampposts and administered 100 lashes a day personally by Eugenio or Jack,or both.And Saint Mad donna-the true icon of western orthodoxy should have taken down her black lacy underwear to show us what that hollier than thou orthodoxy is all about.Vade retrum!!!

by: Sami Ahonen from: Finland
September 19, 2012 11:28
The lawsuit is ridiculous - and greedy! Even if Madonna did promote gay rights in her concert, the minors present weren't there by accident. Surely people paying to see a concert do it by their own free will or by the will of their parents if they are mirors. I hope this anachronistic law is repealed as soon as possible and a modern and rational view of (homo)sexuality gain ground in Russia: whom does it benefit if sexual minorities are not accommodated for in Russian society but excluded into the misery of some sort of an subcultural underclass. No-one.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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