Madonna Won’t Perform in Russia Because of Country’s Homophobic Laws

The famous singer won’t support a country that won’t support its citizens.

Image via Wikimedia

A couple of weeks ago, a video circulated on the internet showing two men trying to hold hands in Moscow, Russia. Every few minutes or so, the men were assaulted—either with verbal violence or actual physical contact. Their experience might have seemed like an aberration, but discrimination is a daily part of life for many queer people in Russia. That’s why Madonna recently announced to Entertainment Weekly that she would no longer perform in Russia, citing the country’s harsh anti-gay laws.

LGBT Activists being attacked during 'Day of Kisses' in Russia, 2013. Image via Flickr user Roma Yandolin

In 2012, Madonna spoke up about the country’s anti-gay laws at a St. Petersburg concert. Shortly thereafter, the singer was sued, accused of violating the city’s law against gay propaganda. Nearly three years later, Madonna has refused to return to the country, arguing, ““I won’t appear in Moscow or St. Petersburg anymore, because I don’t want to perform in places where being homosexual is tantamount to a crime.”

Her argument isn’t hyperbole. While it’s not officially illegal to be gay in Russia, discrimination, violence, and murder are a familiar reality—and rarely does the government seek prosecution or redress. Gay propaganda laws make it illegal for adults to discuss LGBT issues with youth (even when the conversation is about health issues). Propaganda laws are often used liberally to protect—or even promote—harassment of LGBT citizens. Homosexuality not be illegal in law, but it’s illegal in practice.

Madonna may not be able to stop the tide of homophobia, but her stance sends a real message to a country that needs so many.

(Via: The Advocate)

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