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.
Said 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).