Pop Star Irritates Russian Authorities With Pro-Gay Stance

Posted August 10th, 2012 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. music star Madonna has drawn the ire of Russian authorities for the second time in a week, this time speaking out in favor of gay rights in a city that recently passed a law against promoting “homosexual propaganda” to minors.

At her concert in St. Petersburg Thursday, the pop star said gays should be treated with the same respect and tolerance as straight people, and encouraged her audience to support gay rights.

The actions angered St. Petersburg city council deputy Vitaly Milonov, who authored the law. He told Russian reporters he believes Madonna violated the new law because the concert was recorded on video, and because children were in attendance. He called for either the star or the concert promoters to be held accountable.

Critics of the law, passed earlier this year, fear that its broad wording could be used to crack down on the gay and lesbian community in St. Petersburg, where a gay pride rally was banned last month.

Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but the topic is still extremely controversial.

Earlier this week in Moscow, Madonna irritated authorities by demonstrating support for the three members of the punk band Pussy Riot, who are on trial for hooliganism after staging a musical protest against President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral.