Oh those Russians with their often chauvinistic, homophobic and generally intolerant political and religious elite. Now Lady Gaga is facing legal action for expressing solidarity with the gay community while children were in the room. The lawmakers of St Petersburg, remember, are terrified that Western pop stars might warp their offspring into being tolerant human beings.
Yes, following that lawsuit pursued (albeit ultimately unsuccessfully) against Madonna after she played in the Russian city in August, in which it was claimed that Madge broke a newish St Petersburg law that bans ‘gay propaganda’ in the presence of children, now Lady Gaga is facing legal action (and possibly criminal prosecution) for allegedly breaking the same rules.
Gaga is being pursued by Vitaly Milonov, a political ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and member of the ruling United Russia party in the St Petersburg Assembly. Milonov played a crucial role in creating the law that bans people from speaking sympathetically of gay rights issues in front of minors.
According to Reuters, Milonov has taken issue with remarks made by Gaga at a gig in his city last weekend. He’s quoted as saying, “We saw that in addition to music, songs and such, there were direct calls for twelve year old citizens to support the LGBT community”. The political man added that he intends to file a complaint with prosecutors over the singer’s actions.
According to local media reports, Gaga spoke out in support of the Russian gay community in the context of the ban, telling her audience that her managers had been warned that she could be arrested or fined $50,000 if she spoke out in support of gay rights at the concert.
The civil lawsuit against Madonna, pursued by anti-gay campaigners, was initially allowed to proceed to court at the start of last month, but the case was dismissed a couple of weeks later, mainly because the concert where the singer allegedly broke ‘gay propaganda’ rules was an 18+ event, meaning that in theory no minors should have been present when Madonna was promoting gay rights.