Madonna dodges $10 million fine as Russians drop gay gag case

Judge dismisses lawsuit which claimed Material Girl's MDNA concert in St Petersburg could lead to breakdown of Russian society

Madonna dodges $10 million fine as Russians drop gay gag case
22 November 2012 Print This Article

A $10 million Russian lawsuit against Madonna has been dropped after a court ruled the pop superstar didn’t break St Petersburg’s infamous ‘gay gag’ law.

Nine anti-gay activists from the Trade Union of Russian Citizens claimed the Material Girl ‘brutally violated’ a city law that imposes fines for spreading homosexual ‘propaganda’.

During the MDNA gig in August, Madonna told fans to ‘show your love and appreciation to the gay community’, had pink wristbands distributed to the audience and dressed in black lingerie with the words ‘No Fear’ scrawled on her bare back.

Plaintiff Marina Yakovlyeva told the court today (22 November) that she feared the star’s actions would set a precedent for future visiting artists.

The six-hour hearing also heard the plaintiffs argue the singer’s concert could lead to the break down of society and the family, with an increase in divorce and Russia’s youth becoming more interested in filth than childbearing.

But the judge eventually threw out the case after losing his temper at being shown shaky footage of Madonna’s concert as evidence, according to a live report by the Russian Legal Information Agency.

‘How many families split up because one of the couple is gay?’ asked Judge Vitaly Barkovsky.

‘And how many because of alcoholism? How many lawsuits have you filed against alcohol companies?’

Madonna did not attend the hearing, despite a court summons allegedly sent to her New York home in October.

The St Petersburg law punishes ‘homosexual propaganda’ in public alongside pedophile propaganda with fines of up to $15,600, and is designed to protect children from positive messages about LGBT people.

The country has seen increasing intolerance and hostility toward the gay community, with anti-gay ‘propaganda’ laws passed in several cities including St Petersburg, pride marches banned in Moscow for 100 years and attacks on gay clubs in the capital.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gay marriage will be argued about in the upcoming US election

Buzzfeed points to 6 reasons why gay marriage will be talked about during this US presidential election
No thumbnail available

Robbie Williams: ‘I am 49% gay’

Former Take That star has caused controversy for saying that he is half gay because he likes musicals
No thumbnail available

Gay dad jailed for 'extremely depraved' sex abuse of son

Australian fathers found guilty of sexual exploitation of six-year-old boy, detective inspector says it's 'a tragedy' and 'extremely depraved'
No thumbnail available

Newlywed Martina Navratilova: Marriage 'changes your life' and makes you feel 'much stronger'

'It really gives you validation and gives you kind of a wall that you can lean on if something happens'
No thumbnail available

Former pro wrestler and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura defends gay marriage

'Love is by far bigger than government can ever be'
No thumbnail available

Gay former council leader dies after attack in Glasgow

A man has been charged with assaulting Liberal Democrat John Morrison while he was walking home after a Christmas night out
No thumbnail available

Evidence of Leelah Alcorn's short life removed from Tumblr

Transgender teen posted two heartbreaking notes on account before commiting suicide
No thumbnail available

IDAHO founder and friends go on hunger strike for global gay rights

Louis-Georges Tin goes on hunger strike to get French President François Hollande to call for decriminalization of homosexuality in the UN
No thumbnail available

Chinese short film appealing to parents to accept their gay children goes viral

Ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays next week, PFLAG China has launched a short film to promote family reunions between parents and their gay children
No thumbnail available

Leveson wants tighter British press protection for trans and gay people

Lord Leveson report into British press slams reporting on transgender people and issues but says gay coverage has improved