Madonna has pitted herself against the city of St. Petersburg and the Russian Orthodox Church by vowing to speak out against a new law in the Russian city that prohibits the “propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia among minors,” The Telegraph reports.
Signed into law earlier this week by the city’s mayor, Georgy Poltavchenko, the legislation has, according to gay rights groups, effectively outlawed all gay rights and gay awareness events. This, despite Russia having decriminalized homosexuality almost 20 years ago, Human Rights Watch said.
The law imposes fines of up to $16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities for the promotion of homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender practices among minors, according to Ria Novosti. The Russian Orthodox Church, which regards homosexuality as a sin, has called for the law to be nationalized.
Madonna, who is planning a tour of Russia in August, called the legislation a “ridiculous atrocity” on her Facebook page. She wrote: “I will come to St Petersburg to speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed.”
But not all Russians are impressed by Madonna’s intentions. Gay activists in Russia told Agence France-Presse they would protest “the hypocrisy of pop stars” at her show, and Russian journalist Masha Gessen urged Madonna to stay away from the Russian city in a blog post for the International Herald Tribune.
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