Posts Tagged ‘russia’

Madonna sued in Russia for supporting homosexuality

Monday, August 20th, 2012


Moscow: 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 August 9.

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

Madonna sued in Russia for supporting homosexuality

Responding to criticism that the plaintiffs were stuck in the Middle Ages, the lawyer said they were using civilised, 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 civilisation 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’s spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, did not immediately respond to emails asking for the singer’s reaction to the lawsuit.

Madonna also has angered conservative Russians with her support for Pussy Riot. Three members of the punk band were sentenced 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”.

Russian Constitutional Court assesses bill on homosexual propaganda

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


A bill imposing an administrative penalty for propaganda promoting homosexuality and pedophilia among minors has been evaluated by the Russian Constitutional Court, said St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly member Vitaly Milonov, who authored the bill.

“This bill underwent a verification procedure at the Constitutional Court, which gave a clear definition to the term ‘homosexual propaganda,” Milonov told a press conference in St. Petersburg.

The bill does not discriminate in any way against homosexuals, Milonov said.

For his part, St. Petersburg Speaker Vadim Tyulpanov said he was surprised by the negative U.S. reaction to the bill.

“The U.S. Department of State has nothing else to do but mind our bill,” he told a press conference that focused on the results of the fourth term of the legislature.

Thanks to the debate surrounding this document, the St. Petersburg parliament has become famous across the world, he said.

“While the bill was debated, I started receiving e-mails from city residents supporting the bill. Over 90% of St. Petersburg citizens support the bill,” Tyulpanov said.

On November 16, the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly approved on first reading a bill imposing administrative liability for homosexual and pedophile propaganda among minors. In presenting the bill, author Vitaly Milonov said the bill must be passed to protect children from destructive information.

Under the bill, homosexual propaganda will entail a fine of 1,000-3,000 rubles for individuals, 3,000-5,000 rubles for officials and 10,000-50,000 rubles for companies.

President of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko voiced support for the bill.

For her part, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Washington is concerned by the proposal to pass this bill as it seriously restricts the freedom of self-expression and the freedom of assembly for sexual minorities. The U.S. administration believes that the rights of homosexuals are an integral part of human rights.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Nuland’s statement is inappropriate and represents an act of interference in Russia’s legislative process. “We are perplexed by the American side’s attempts to interfere in the legislative process in Russia, especially publicly. We view the attempt as inappropriate and inconsistent with the practice of interstate relations,” Dolgov said, answering a question from Interfax.