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Lawsuit against Madonna dismissed in Russia

A Russian court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages from Madonna for allegedly traumatizing minors by speaking up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg.

The ruling came after a one-day hearing that bordered on the farcical. During it, plaintiffs claimed that Madonna’s so-called “propaganda of perversion” would negatively affect Russia’s birthrate and erode the nation’s defense capability by depriving the country of future soldiers. At one point, the judge threatened to expel journalists from the courtroom if they laughed too much.

In the end, the Moskovsky district court in St. Petersburg threw out the Trade Union of Russian Citizens’ lawsuit and the 333 million rubles ($10.7 million) it sought from the singer for allegedly exposing youths to “homosexual propaganda.”

Madonna did not attend the trial, and her publicist Liz Rosenberg said Thursday the star wouldn’t comment about it.

Anti-gay sentiment is strong in Russia, particularly in St. Petersburg, where local legislators passed a law in February that made it illegal to promote homosexuality to minors. Six months later, Madonna criticized the law on Facebook, then stood up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg that drew fans as young as 12.

“Who will children grow up to be if they hear about the equal rights of the lesbian lobby and manly love with traditional sexual relations?” one of the plaintiffs, Darya Dedova, testified Thursday. “The death rate prevails over the birth rate in the West; young guys are becoming gender neutral.”

The plaintiffs submitted evidence about gay culture drawn from Wikipedia pages, claiming that a real encyclopedia could not have articles about homosexuality.

“We aren’t against homosexual people, but we are against the propaganda of perversion among minors,” Dedova told the court. “We want to defend the values of a traditional family, which are currently in crisis in this country. Madonna violated our laws and she should be punished.”

Madonna, who performed in Moscow and St. Petersburg in August as part of her world tour, also angered Russian officials by supporting jailed members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot. The American said during her Moscow concert that she would “pray for them,” then turned around so the audience could see the words “Pussy Riot” written on her back. The singer also donned a ski mask similar to those worn by Pussy Riot.

Despite international outrage, three of that band’s members were sentenced to two years in jail on hooliganism charges for performing a “punk prayer” at Moscow’s main cathedral, during which they pleaded with the Virgin Mary to deliver Russia from President Vladimir Putin. One of the Pussy Riot members was later released from jail on appeal, but the other two were sent to prison camps to serve their sentences.

CNBC

  • Majo

    Because this is not a free country I can’t write what I think about Russia an anti gay because I will end up in jail… Oh world is so good and free … Yap lucky us

  • Maverick

    why concert in russia? why not australia. look what happened now,

    • Oscar Hamptonshire

      Demographics, of fans and western pop. Culture is reason also, Russia near. Nordic region, concur with you. Madonna
      has failed to bemuse fans. Southeast Asia,Australia, Oceania
      and New Zealand. Problem many celebrities advocate. There
      cause or human rights still. Russia is socialist state LGBT rights. Oppress acknowledge Madonna supported. Equality in
      Russia verdict shall. Cause Madonna tours banned until lifted.

      Madonna is lucky that military didn’t stop the concert. Regarding Australia Madonna, lost Pink. Is new reigning Pop
      Queen in Australia. Madonna seldom tours over 3 months due.
      New label and contract Madonna longest. Pink title sells abundantly Lady Gaga. New release Madonna decide to tour.
      The Land Down Under Madonna. Cease voicing opinions fans,
      seek entertainment. Not lectures of political cause. Use the media to express this Madonna. Aware of this, Cheers enjoy!

  • http://soundcloud.com/nicky-prince-of-pop Nicky Prince of Pop

    Madonna.! mein liebe, mein fan verein. Eine nie enden werdende Liebe. Forever number one!

    Madonna fans forever number one
    You can call us the champions of the world
    Madonna forever number one
    We´re much better than the rest

    Gemeinsam werden wir nie untergeht Wenn wir mit euch zusammen seh´n

    We walk alone in a narrow road
    We give our all from the start
    This game is hard but we don’t give up
    Because when we play we play for win.!!

    Madonna fans forever number one
    You can call us the champions of the world
    Madonna forever number one
    We´re much better than the rest

    We keep the fighting to the end
    It’s the only way we know
    We keep one the chance the winner takes it all
    To be the best the only way we know.!!!

    Gemeinsam werden wir nie untergeht Wenn wir mit euch zusammen seh´n

    So now our story is often told
    The fans of now the fans of all
    All is one, we know will never fall, because when we sing we give it all

    Madonna fans forever number one
    You can call us the champions of the world
    Madonna forever number one
    We´re much better than the rest

    Gemeinsam werden wir nie untergeht Wenn wir mit euch zusammen seh´n

    xxx
    :))

  • 4 Minutes

    What songs did Madonna sing in Miami 19 & 20 for the DVD? Could anyone tell me, please?

  • K

    Everybody, including the gays are entitled to human rights. Everybody has the right to be protected against discrimination and bigotry. Having said that, on the other hand:

    1- We don’t have the right to impose our views or life styles on others, and that works both ways. In other words you can respect gay people as humans as well as their human rights and
    yet not approve of their life styles.

    2- It was the Pussy cat riots who improperly voiced their opinions for their own gain. They used that occasion and meshed up different issues at the same time. The western media and politicians jumped at the chance to criticize president Putien, others started finger pointing to the church. In a country like Russia, with strong culture, traditions, views and leaders, one has to make well defined and well placed arguments first before
    voicing them. Russia is not like England, where every drunk tom, dick and harry can voice opinions only about things that
    are already popular and accepted. Even BBC is a poppet of the British establishment. So there is hardly freedom of expression in
    England. And let me tell you, in the western countries, despite the so called gay rights, gays are still discriminated against in many different ways. The mentality has not changed despite all the so called “rights”.

    If you want to change people’s mentality you have to engage in discussion and arguments with them and not start with ridiculing
    them. That is what the pussy cat riots did.

  • http://www.facebook.com/claudio.castro.9615 Claudio Castro

    Scott and xtreme are utterly wrong. Thay are completely groundless. They are just bashing Madonna because they want to or because they just ignore all the facts.

    • xtreme_vitriol

      I’ve always been a big Madonna fan, actually. It’s just that I think that money in this day age carries with it certain moral issues that it didn’t have before, and it’s only going to get worse. So what’s Madonna going to do? Adopt a couple more black kids? I’ll pray for her, because “working hard” doesn’t necessarily justify it and being rich is more of a curse when its at the expense of the rest of the world.

      • K

        “Being rich is more of a curse when its at the expense of the rest of the world” is very well said. I agree with you on that. But Madonna did not become rich at the expense of the rest of the world. Madonna has actually enriched and helped to enlighten the world about many issues. I was a bigot because I was raised that way. But Madonna helped me see that I was a bigot. She helped me to look at some things in a different way. Madonna never produced and sold weapons, she
        did not sponsor nor installed dictators, she did not create wars, she earned her mansions and paid her taxes. Those mansions go with being a world
        superstar. What did you expect? Did you expect her to live in a dump?

        As far as her children are concerned, she has four beautiful children, two of which happen to be adopted from a poor African country. They could have easily
        been two American kids. What is the difference? Does it matter where those adopted children were born?

        As far as fighting poverty is concerned, we all can do something to fight poverty. To begin with we should think before electing some of our politicians, we should
        think about which bank we deal with, we should stop buying things from companies that practice modern slavery, we can treat other peoples’ children as if they were our own, ,,,,,,,,, So we can all do something.

        There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, as long as one uses the wealth to do good. And by that I don’t mean that one should hand out money. Because even if they do that, it still doesn’t solve the underlying poverty problems(war, wrong politicians, fake democracies, bad business practices, unfair trade, lack of respect and appreciation for the nature). I can’t
        place Madonna in any of these underlying problems. But she has done a lot of good in educating people(by changing their mentalities)

  • K

    You make a unfounded and shallow argument.

    Madonna has been, still is and will always
    be an outspoken advocate of human rights
    including gay rights long before pussy cat riots existed, long before speaking about gay rights became the popular thing to do.

    Do you have anything against Madonna living in her multimillion dollars mansion? She certainly has worked hard for it. She has earned it. Do you know any pop artist who works harder than Madonna?

    When others go on orgy boat vacations, Madonna works hard, raises her children, rehearses during the day, and performs
    at night. She even finds time in between to do some charity work.
    What is wrong with that? Or are you just biased against her?

    I think Pussy cat riots should thank Madonna. Because they got inspirations and lessons in human rights from Madonna. They
    did thank her too.

    • K

      @ xtreme_vitriol

  • xtreme_vitriol

    If only the members of Pussy Riot had Madonna’s money Im sure they would not be in jail right now. its a shame the way Madonna uses others for her own artistic image then retreats into her million dollar mansions only to come out when shes ready to exploit the world for her own gain again.

    • ScottnNYC

      I agree with you but her mansions can hardly be called “million-dollar” homes. They’re worth tens of millions. But your point is well-made.

    • High Kick

      How do you know what she does or doesn’t do with her money, and I think she is too honestly interested in art to merely “exploit” others “for her own gain”. Sounds more like you were dropped on the head.

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