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Russian Official Targets Pro-Gay Artists with Visa Investigation Against Lady Gaga, Madonna


Anti-gay lawmaker Vitaly Milonov appears to be sending a message to performing artists coming to Russia: speak out in favor of gay rights and be investigated. Milonov appears to have triggered an investigation into visits to the country by Lady Gaga and Madonna, both of whom made spectacles of Russia's anti-gay laws during their performances.

MilonovThe Guardian reports:

The office of Russia's prosecutor general has issued a statement confirming that neither singer obtained an appropriate visa prior to performing there last year. Madonna, who played in August 2012, and Gaga, who appeared in December, travelled under cultural-exchange visas. These documents "do not grant their bearers the right to engage in any commercial activity," authorities said. According to the Russian legal information agency, prosecutors are now considering asking Russia's foreign ministry or federal migration service to press charges.

As any foreigner who has visited Moscow will know, Russian immigration can be extremely complicated. But Gaga and Madonna's mistakes weren't just discovered by accident: prosecutors launched their investigation only after being contacted by one of the singers' most outspoken enemies.

The man in question was Vitaly Milonov, who serves in St Petersburg's municipal legislature and authored St Petersburg's law banning gay "propaganda" – a model for recent legislation passed by the Duma.

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  1. like who'd wanna touch that guy - ewwwwwww - he is one ugly Mofo...

    Posted by: disgusted american | Aug 5, 2013 11:53:03 AM

  2. Obviously can't get any....

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Aug 5, 2013 11:56:38 AM

  3. The solution is clear. Russia should propose an exchange: Edward Snowden will be extradited to the US if Madonna and Gaga are turned over to Russia for prosecution!

    Posted by: james | Aug 5, 2013 11:57:02 AM

  4. Looks like he'd be real fun at parties.

    Posted by: David | Aug 5, 2013 11:57:22 AM

  5. Oh look, another soft, hairless man-boy with a problem with men who flout gender rules. Get a life, Mrs Doubtfire.

    Posted by: Chaz | Aug 5, 2013 11:59:37 AM

  6. Can you make your tie's knot any bigger?

    Posted by: trees | Aug 5, 2013 12:02:06 PM

  7. What a sad little man. His efforts will undoubtedly do a lot to help his fellow citizens.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 5, 2013 12:04:23 PM

  8. What are these, how you say, parties, that you speak of?

    Posted by: Chaz | Aug 5, 2013 12:06:01 PM

  9. Peter Griffin.

    Posted by: Eddie | Aug 5, 2013 12:06:22 PM

  10. Jesus Christ.... why are the members of Russia's government almost always so damned UGLY?

    Posted by: JY | Aug 5, 2013 12:06:31 PM

  11. Well, two can play that game. This individual should be place on every western country's persona non grata list and denied any entry visas.

    Posted by: RJ | Aug 5, 2013 12:07:23 PM

  12. Obviously, Madonna and Gaga should get together and put on a giant concert extravaganza, and give all of the money to a pro-gay Russian group. My head explodes with joy at the thought.

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 5, 2013 12:08:19 PM

  13. perhaps miss milonov prefers britney spears

    Posted by: jed | Aug 5, 2013 12:10:15 PM

  14. I'd like to wring his fat, ugly neck.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 5, 2013 12:12:54 PM

  15. Just a thought. Ask your Senators and Congressman what they are doing about the Russian persecution?

    Ask the President what he is doing?

    Additionally, ask yourself what you are doing? And, I don't consider giving up Stoli much of any kind of effort. In my opinion, that is about the least meaningful thing any of us can do.

    Posted by: Continuum | Aug 5, 2013 12:14:43 PM

  16. The spotlight of the world is on the officially sanctioned Russian bigotry and discrimination against its LGBT citizens. It will be even under more scrutiny during the 2014 Olympics when the world's media flock to Russia to see any potential clashes between the Olympians and the authoritarian Russian government. I would prefer that the IOC move the Olympics to a civilized country, but, if not, the Olympic spotlight may in fact do some good for Russia's LGBT citizens.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 5, 2013 12:15:06 PM

  17. Ironically, the issues with Russia may finally bring Madonna and Gaga together on a mutal-interest project: a giant concert benefitting gay rights in Russia. My head would explode with joy.

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 5, 2013 12:21:18 PM

  18. Sorry, didn't mean to double post.

    Posted by: Dback | Aug 5, 2013 12:21:46 PM

  19. President Obama, other Western leaders, the Olympic Committee, etc. will not be able to bring down this Russian anti-gay law. However, Madonna and Lady Gaga might cause it to fall because they actually have a strong following (with young people) inside Russia. Go for it!

    Posted by: MiddleoftheRoader | Aug 5, 2013 12:30:27 PM

  20. What's next from these idiots...perhaps investigating Tchaikovsky's music? I mean, the man was homosexual and a close look at each individual note may be in order. I wonder when the authorities will start rewriting history, if they aren't already doing that.

    Are there ANY sane heterosexuals left in Russia???

    Posted by: Bryan L | Aug 5, 2013 12:38:48 PM

  21. Good! Things like this just bring international attention to Russia.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 5, 2013 12:46:14 PM

  22. I'm sure Gaga and Madonna are just quivering over Humpty Dumpty's threats. What's he going to do--erase the concerts? throw them in a Russian jail with the gay propagandists? make them pay a fine (cause you know that would hurt those poor gals)?

    It's symbolic of how completely insane and insanely homophobic Russia under thug-Putin has become. It would be funny, except it isn't.

    Posted by: Ernie | Aug 5, 2013 12:55:11 PM

  23. We keep forgetting this the Russian Orthodox Church is behind this too.. Its time to start "putin" pressure on them world wide.. We should expose the ROC just as we did the Roman Catholic church....

    Posted by: MAP | Aug 5, 2013 12:59:47 PM

  24. Wondering if Elton John will say anything at his Moscow concert. Bet he doesn't.

    Posted by: tranquilo | Aug 5, 2013 1:00:33 PM

  25. There's an obvious direct link between a man's physical appearance and his homophobia.

    Posted by: Michael | Aug 5, 2013 1:12:46 PM

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