In her concert last night in St. Petersburg, Russia, Madonna broke that city’s “don’t say gay” law, expressing support for the LGBT community and urging her cheering audience to do the same. According to Reuters:
Performing in black lingerie with the words “No Fear” scrawled on her bare back, Madonna urged the audience – most wearing pink wrist bands distributed at the door – to “show your love and appreciation to the gay community”.
“We want to fight for the right to be free,” she said.
Video of Madonna’s remarks is below.
Under the St. Petersburg law, which the city passed in March, people and organizations are prohibited from engaging in “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors.” Pride parades, pro-LGBT protests, and even simple individual expressions of public support for the LGBT community have been ruled illegal under this new law. Violators are punished with steep fines or a jail sentence.
Towleroad reports on the reaction in Russia:
There’s no word on whether officials will try to fine the Material Girl for all this rabble-rousing, but Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called her a “former whore” — or “slut,” depending on one’s translation. And even some activists are criticizing the singer.
“One should not mix showbusiness with human rights activism,” gay activist Yuri Gavrikov said. “If she wanted to support the LGBT community, she could have … refused to hold concerts in Russia.”
What do you think of Madonna’s public challenge to St. Petersburg’s homophobic law? Was it insubstantial, a token gesture, or might it spark some positive change?
(h/t: Andy Belonsky)