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Madonna sued in Russia for supporting gays

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Aug. 19, 2012, 4:24 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

In this picture taken Aug. 18. 2012, US singer Madonna performs one stage during a concert in Zurich, Switzerland.
© AP

MOSCOW (AP) — Some Russian activists have sued Madonna for millions of dollars, claiming they were offended by her support for gay rights during a recent concert in St. Petersburg.

Anti-gay sentiment is strong in Russia. In St. Petersburg, a law passed in February makes it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors, and the author of that law has pointed to the presence of children as young as 12 at Madonna's concert on Aug. 9.

Russian news agencies quote Alexander Pochuyev, a lawyer representing the nine activists, as saying the suit was filed Friday against Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held, asking for damages totaling 333 million rubles, or nearly $10.5 million.

Responding to criticism that the plaintiffs were stuck in the Middle Ages, the lawyer said they were using civilized, modern methods to defend their rights. "No one is burning anyone at the stake or carrying out an Inquisition," Pochuyev was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying. "Modern civilization requires tolerance and respect for different values."

The complaint includes a video taken at the concert showing Madonna stomping on an Orthodox cross and asking fans to raise their hands to show the pink armbands in support of gays and lesbians that were distributed among the audience, the new agency reported.

Madonna also has angered conservative Russians with her support for Pussy Riot. Three members of the punk band were sentenced Friday to two years in prison for a protest inside Moscow's main cathedral against Vladimir Putin and his cozy relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Madonna spoke out in support of the group during her concert in St. Petersburg and two days earlier in Moscow. After the verdict was issued, Madonna called on "all those who love freedom to condemn this unjust punishment." 

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.
Ukrtoday Ukraine Aug. 19, 2012, 6:34 p.m.    

Russia should apply to the US to have Madona extradited to Russia to answer questions. She could apply to Agentina for asylum.

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harry krishna Aug. 20, 2012, 4:09 a.m.    

score

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Byron Hill Aug. 19, 2012, 7:26 p.m.    

Parents allow their children to attend a "Madonna" concert? Did they think there was going to be a prayer circle? If it was Paris Hilton would they think they would have a Bible study? I know that parents make mistakes, but this is just plain stupid to send your child to a known exhibitionists concert! By the way, Madonna offended me as well. I'm going to sue for $10.00 USD.

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Arman Shakhray Aug. 20, 2012, 1:42 p.m.    

Indeed, Middle Ages... Homophobic activists should be put to trial for inciting hatred on the grounds of sexuality, extortion of money, and making false statements to the court since they were aware of the adult-oriented content. Parents who brought their children to the concert should be charged with parental neglect. Oh, yes... it's Russia... Never mind.

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