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Officials to Hit Madonna with $17,000 Fine for Violating St. Petersburg Law Against Gay 'Propaganda': REPORT


Madonna faces a fine for her violating St. Petersburg, Russia's ban on 'gay propaganda' for the demonstration at her concert yesterday, according to reports from activists in the country.

MilonovSaid Polina Savchenko, director of the St. Petersburg LGBT group, Coming Out, in an email obtained by Towleroad:

LGBT organization Coming Out, printed 330 rainbow posters with the saying "No Fear" that were distributed to the crowd. Although some posters were confiscated by security, their display had a huge emotional effect during the show. Many fans raised them during Madonna's speech, and she reacted by saying "No Fear, that's right" before insisting that fear was the basis of all discrimination, and that tolerance could only be guaranteed by love, the opposite of fear. During the performance of "Like A Prayer", while dancers were raising a rainbow flag provided by a member of Coming Out and the Russian LGBT Network, Madonna took a "No Fear" poster from the crowd and raised it for 25,000 people to see. Same as for "Pussy Riot" support in Moscow, she had tattooed her back, this time with "No Fear." Gay bashing scenes from gay demonstrations in Russia, pictures of teenagers who died because of homophobia, and many gay and lesbian kisses were shown during the very political "Nobody Knows Me" Interlude Video.

Madonna's support was extremely moving. Most of the mostly heterosexual crowd reacted positively to her message by raising pink wristbands that were distributed to everyone to support the LGBT community. The LGBT in the audience received Madonna's support with both smiles and tears, and gratified her with the universal message "We love you" at the end of the show.

Author of the "propaganda" law in St. Petersburg, Vitaly Milonov (pictured) today declared that Madonna broke the law and is planning to charge her with a fine of 500,000 rubles ($17 000).

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  1. if she pays it, she should use bags of pennies.

    Posted by: alguien | Aug 10, 2012 6:03:16 PM

  2. She should pay with Monopoly money.

    Posted by: john patrick | Aug 10, 2012 6:10:47 PM

  3. I really hope she fights the fine in international court, and helps get this blatantly discriminatory law revoked. She has the money to fight this issue with the best attorneys out there, which most Russian LGBTs can not afford. If she really wants to help, I'd urge her to fight the fine, regardless of amount. At the very least, it will help to better shed a light on St. Petersburgs heinous actions.

    Posted by: Scott | Aug 10, 2012 6:15:21 PM

  4. It was a great gesture but... she broke the law. She should smile and pay it, all the while fighting for change.
    Hopefully she'll fight for this with more energy than she put into the village in Africa. (By the way... what ever happened with her adopted non-orphan child?)

    Posted by: JimmyD | Aug 10, 2012 6:24:21 PM

  5. 500,000 rubles? A mere bag of shells.

    Posted by: Deevee | Aug 10, 2012 6:32:39 PM

  6. As I've said before - how can these anti-gays laws be legal within the European Union ?
    To be a member of the EU you HAVE to have a certain level of Human Rights laws and that includes protection for the LGBT community.

    I guess the EU politicians are willing to ignore these awful laws so Russia doesn't pull out it's money from the EU budget.

    Once again, elected officials are full of s$it and are only worried about their own bank balances.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Aug 10, 2012 6:41:16 PM

  7. @JIMMYD,
    you sure do know alot about Madonna and how much energy she puts into her endeavors, don't you?
    Where do you get your info?


    Posted by: marc | Aug 10, 2012 6:42:20 PM

  8. @Icebloo Russia is not and likely never will be a member of the EU.
    It is a Council of Europe country, but there are far fewer laws binding those nations together.

    The EU is dependent on Russian oil, and Russia is quite proud of distinguishing itself from European values when necessary (Russian exceptionalism is not unlike US exceptionalism).

    As to paying the fine, the President of PMI, Yevgeny Finkelshtein, who organized the concert has said that they have a countersuit ready for Milonov: recording devices were strictly forbidden at the concert, so if Milonov & Co. try to produce evidence from the concert, they'll be sued -- but only if they try to impose the fine.


    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 10, 2012 6:49:00 PM

  9. @JIMMYD -- her son David was left abandoned at an orphanage and up for adoption. In their country, if the mother is deceased, you are considered an 'orphan'. Her daughter Mercy was then also later adopted from the same country. She has 4 children. 2 biological, 2 adopted, None purchased. You're an idiot. I suppose you'd prefer those children rot in an African hole rather than have the love & support of a mother & siblings.

    Posted by: Precious | Aug 10, 2012 6:50:38 PM

  10. As to the courts... the European Court of Human Rights (Strasbourg) has made judgments in the past against Russia, but Russia just ignores them.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Aug 10, 2012 6:53:44 PM

  11. @ ICEBLOO: Russia is not part of EU.
    However it is a member of the Council of Europe (not related to European Union) which oversees the European Court of Human Rights. But I'll let legal experts clarify whether this is significant.

    Posted by: BlueWhirl | Aug 10, 2012 6:56:29 PM

  12. $17,000 fine for Madonna? It's simply chump change for her. It means she might have to skip on a weekly maintenance bill for her mansions.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 10, 2012 7:01:05 PM

  13. Can't wait for Gaga to strap herself to something in Russia draping herself with the gay flag:)

    Posted by: Raheem | Aug 10, 2012 7:01:39 PM

  14. All I know is the backlash against LGBT in Russia is going to be huge-more deaths, more murders while her highness flies off into the sunset. She's done far more harm than good.

    Posted by: Molc | Aug 10, 2012 7:12:33 PM

  15. MOLC, it has to start somewhere. I guess you would rather just have them be oppressed than have someone speak up for the cause. Eventually, someone would have.

    Posted by: Raheem | Aug 10, 2012 7:16:30 PM

  16. All the ungrateful Madonna bashers here should pay the fine. Volunteer or do I have to name names. You know who you are.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 10, 2012 7:21:58 PM

  17. Precious - Uh... if I'm not mistaken... and it was pretty well documented... his FATHER is still very much alive. Oh look what Google came up with:
    "Awaiting ruling, Madonna meets with adopted son's dad"
    He might have died since then (2009). But he was very much alive at the time. Smart ass.

    And as for her involvement? Is she willing to do the time? If she doesn't pay the fine. And join the ranks of some true humanitarians by going to prison for their beliefs? I think she'll either pay or just avoid Russia for a very long time.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Aug 10, 2012 7:22:17 PM

  18. Raheem - Only if she sticks around to deal with the results of her actions. I agree with MOLC.

    Posted by: JimmyD | Aug 10, 2012 7:23:22 PM

  19. that's like what, 2 vip concert tickets? anyway if the people didn't want to participate they were free not to cut they chose to do so. We'll see what plays out in the coming weeks/months. Since her school in Malawi is apparently not going forward she can fight some more fights as some kind of elder kaballah ninja queen.

    Posted by: MaddM@ | Aug 10, 2012 7:44:51 PM

  20. I am not advocating violence, but couldn't Madonna have Milonov knee-capped or something? My guess is Madonna will tell them to f off before paying that fine.

    Posted by: AngelaChanning | Aug 10, 2012 8:15:00 PM

  21. Interesting that the Russians, both gay and human rights folks, all applaud her actions.

    But I guess som commenters here know more about Russia.

    Posted by: KevinVt | Aug 10, 2012 8:18:22 PM

  22. it's been weird to hear the few typical miseryguts' complaining that Madonna should have, uh, cancelled the concert rather do what she did. she gave a real gift to the LGBT communities in Russia, and indeed the international communities, by giving them a defiant message of hope and solidarity and thus bringing attention to this issue much more than would have happened had she just not performed.

    thank you, madonna.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Aug 10, 2012 8:39:39 PM

  23. Oh, Madonna is so brave, isn't she? Brave, brave, brave. Oh, and she's a woman! That means she's a brave woman, a real warrior - you know, like that British warrior queen Boadicea. She ticks all the politically correct boxes.

    Fact is, the fine is nothing to her. She'll pay it and then retire to her mansions. You won't hear any more pro-gay statements from her until the next tour. The ka-ching thing is what it's all about.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 10, 2012 9:12:12 PM

  24. I'm so tired of the trolls on this site. Your lives must be awful, but the rest of us don't need to hear about them. Bye.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 10, 2012 9:26:25 PM

  25. Of course the fine is nothing to her. That's the laughable part, because the Russian totalitarians can't touch her, and how those homophobes must hate that. She brought a message of defiance and hope to people who needed to hear it; it's the best thing she's done in years. (I wish her music still reached out as successfully.) Take it from people who know Russia. This was a good thing.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 10, 2012 9:30:08 PM

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