KyivPost

Lady Gaga accused of illegal gay rights promotion in Russia

Print version
Dec. 11, 2012, 9:13 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Reuters

US pop diva Lady Gaga (C) heads to sign autographs to fans outside the hotel, in Asuncion, Paraguay, on November 26, 2012.
© AFP

Reuters

  ST PETERSBURG, Russia, Dec 11 (Reuters) - A political ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking legal action against American pop star Lady Gaga for promoting gay rights to minors during a concert on Sunday.

Vitaly Milonov, a member of the ruling United Russia party in the St Petersburg assembly and the architect of a city law that bans gay "propaganda", accused the singer of breaking the law at the beginning of her show.

"We saw that in addition to music, songs and such, there were direct calls for 12-year-old citizens to support the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community," Milonov said, adding that he would file a complaint to prosecutors over the singer's actions.

He had unsuccessfully called on authorities to bar people under 18 from attending Lady Gaga's show.

A vocal defender of lesbian and gay rights, Lady Gaga said offstage that her managers had received a call threatening her with arrest or a $50,000 fine if she spoke in support of the LGBT community, according to media reports.

The lower house of parliament is expected to consider legislation similar to the St Petersburg law later this month.

It is not clear whether it will pass. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, now the head of United Russia, said in an interview last week that "not all human relationships are subject to legal regulation".

Lady Gaga took Medvedev's comments as a sign of support for her show and thanked him on her Twitter microblog.

"Thank You Prime Minister Medvedev for not standing by your party's anti gay propaganda law & instead supporting my show+fans all over Russia," she said in her tweet.

Lady Gaga has a concert in Moscow on Wednesday.

Last month, a St Petersburg court rejected a $10 million compensation claim against U.S. pop star Madonnainitiated by Milonov and a group of anti-gay activists who accused her of hurting their feelings by promoting homosexuality at a concert in the city in August.

Madonna has called the city law a "ridiculous atrocity".

Homosexuality, punished with jail terms in the Soviet Union, was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but much of the gay community remains underground as prejudice runs deep. (Writing by Nastassia Astrasheuskaya; editing by Andrew Roche)

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.