Russian officials have fined the organizers behind Lady Gaga’s 2012 Moscow concerts, claiming the shows and the singer’s support of LGBT rights "harmed children," Gay Star News reports.
A magistrate’s court in St. Petersburg ruled on Nov. 14 that Planet Plus must pay 20,000 rubies (about $614 U.S.) after Mother Monster performed in the city last year. In August, it was reported that Russian officials re-opened an investigation against Gaga shortly after she announced details about her third album "ARTPOP." Russian politician Vitaly Milonov, the author of Russia’s "homosexual propaganda" measure, was responsible in looking into whether the pop star violated the law.
"I can’t even really believe that you’re all here because when they first called me they were like, ’We want you to go to Russia but we might have some problems because of all the gay propaganda in your show,’" Gaga said, according to Gay Star News. "Thank you, Moscow, for spreading the message of equality around the world. Thank you for spreading the message of Born This Way."
Later on during the performance, the singer shouted to the audience, "So stand up for yourself, or stand up for your friends. Where’s all my gay kids tonight? Tonight, this is my house, Russia. You can be gay in my house. And if you ever need me Moscow, I will just be a telephone call away."
Gay Star News reports that there were hundreds of complaints made against the shows, many claiming that Gaga broke Russia’s anti-gay law. One of those who took issue with Gaga and her pro-gay speeches was a mother of a 13-year-old girl, who said she was "shocked" by Gaga’s words. She said if Gaga was planning on giving the supportive speeches then the show should have been restricted to 18 and over and not 12 and over.
The concert organizers of Planet Plus plan to appeal the court’s ruling.
"We are just doing our job," Planet Plus CEO Eugene Finkelstein said, according to Gay Star News.
Madonna was also in hot water for her Russian concerts: Last August the Queen of Pop held a show in St. Petersburg, shortly after the city passed the anti-gay measure. Days after the event, the Associated Press reported that some Russian activists sued the singer for nearly $10.5 million, claiming they were offended by her LGBT support.
"She insulted believers’ feelings, she promoted homosexuality when there were children at the concert and this is forbidden in St. Petersburg," Darya Dedova, a member of the pro-Kremlin group Trade Union of Russia Citizens, said. "We, the residents of the cultural capital, suffered a colossal moral damage."
From our media partner EDGEJason St. Amand