After a court in St Petersburg summons Madonna on charges of ‘gay propaganda’, an activist says Lady Gaga will be next.
Lady Gaga is likely to be charged in Russia under the same ‘gay propaganda’ laws levelled at Madonna, a leading activist has said.
Madonna has been summoned to a St Petersburg court after allegedly promoting homosexuality at a recent concert in the city. She is almost certain not to attend.
And Nikolai Alexeyev – who was the first person to be found guilty of breaching the law – said anti-gay campaigners in Russia were exploiting international stars to attract publicity.
He said: “I’m sure that these people who are doing this now in court will do exactly the same with the Lady Gaga concert, which is coming up in December.
“I think that these people are absolutely using this publicity, using these famous people to attract attention to themselves, while no-one knows who they are.”
The court had sent a summons to Madonna’s New York address after the US pop star failed to attend a hearing on October 11.
Mr Alexeyev said: “I’m absolutely convinced that this court process will not lead to anything, because legally it’s a lost case.
“I think Madonna is just waiting (until) … she’s fined on the basis of this law, so that this creates an international scandal.
“At the same time, Russia will do everything to avoid this international scandal and avoid the shame connected to it.”
Two anti-gay groups are suing Madonna for £6.7m after she spoke out in support of gay rights during a show in the northwestern Russian town in August.
A local law passed earlier this year bans public actions aimed at “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and trans-genderism” that could “damage the health, moral and spiritual development of the under aged”.
Madonna reportedly asked the crowd to: ”Show your love and appreciation to the gay community. We want to fight for the right to be free.”
Pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russian Citizens believes Madonna “insulted believers’ feelings”, as “she promoted homosexuality when there were children at the concert”, spokesperson Darya Dedova was quoted saying by Russia Today.
Although homosexuality itself was decriminalised in the 1990s, discrimination against gay people and homophobic-related incidents are not unusual in Russia.
Mr Alexeyev was fined 5,000 rubles (£105) for breaching the law after he picketed the city hall in St. Petersburg with a poster which said that “homosexuality is not a perversion”.
– Sky News