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

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.


  1. james says

    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!

  2. Chaz says

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

  3. Paul R says

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

  4. RJ says

    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.

  5. Dback says

    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.

  6. Continuum says

    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.

  7. andrew says

    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.

  8. Dback says

    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.

  9. MiddleoftheRoader says

    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!

  10. Bryan L says

    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???

  11. says

    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.

  12. MAP says

    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….

  13. tranquilo says

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

  14. Michael says

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

  15. woodroad34d says

    Really…and I realize aspersions on physicality are probably childish…it does appear that the most virulently anti-gays are so doughy pudgy and acidically unpleasant. Just lose some weight already and stop with the alcoholism; it just exacerbates an already unpleasant personality.

  16. Joseph2 says

    Bryan L: Russia still completely denies that Tchaikovsky was gay.

    The Metropolitan Opera is opening their season on September 23 with a production of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” conducted by Valery Gergiev and starring Anna Netrebko, Russians who are reportedly pro-Putin. A petition is asking the Met to dedicate the performance to support of LGBT people in Tchaikovsky’s honor.

  17. Bill says

    @Bryan L: “hat’s next from these idiots…perhaps investigating Tchaikovsky’s music?”

    Here’s the investigation:

    I posted that URL in a comment on Putin Airlines (the funny video). It shows a backstage party after a performance of Swan Lake, just after Sherlock Holmes claims to be gay to brush off the prima ballerina, who is suggesting a business arrangement where he would serve as suitable mating material. The worn-out director then has a drink, and tells one of the ballerinas. The rumor mill starts working with a hilarious outcome. It’s even funnier because Tchaikowsky’s music completely drowns out the rumors, so your imagination has to fill in the details based on facial expressions.

  18. david from edmonton says

    Move the Olympics back to Canada. They are one of the most recent winter Olympics and probably could host. Boycott Russian everything. These people don’t deserve anything. Ignorant vodka swilling buffoons.

  19. Bill says

    Since we are talking about art in some form, how about doing a parody opera, Vladimir and Lyudmila (using the music from Glinka’s opera, Ruslan and Lyudmila) as Vladimir Putin’s wife’s name is Lyudmila!

    Ruslan and Lyudmila has a sorcerer and several magicians, so we can end up with Vladimir and Lyudmila having Lyudmila being transformed into a man and both of them then arrested because they are married!

  20. millerbeach says

    Hey Vitale, can you say “closet case”? That’s what you are. I’ve seen you before…bitter, unhappy, trying to comfort yourself with food, self-loathing hatred for yourself. Pitiful. Yes, you really are pitiful. You and your dump of a nation can take a hike off a short pier for all I care. You and your Godless commie friends suddenly develop “morals”, and only for hating purposes? I can hardly wait for the religious “fundies” of this nation embrace your views on homosexuality, but please let me have the pleasure of informing them about on-demand abortions not only sanctioned in your ugly nation, but also ENCOURAGED. Yes, they encourage abortions as a form of birth control. My, oh, my. Jesus doesn’t like abortions, nor the people who get them. How many have you forced upon your wife? Your daughter? Have fun in Hell, idiot.