Madonna stated she would never pay the USD 1 million fine imposed by the Russian government for supporting gay people at a concert in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2012.
During her MDNA tour eight years ago, the Queen of Pop made a speech calling for equality and respect for gay people. She opined that the gay community all around the world should enjoy equal rights and be treated with compassion, love, and tolerance.
Madonna told the audience they could make a difference through love. The Russian fans cheered as she was repeatedly asking them to show their appreciation for the gay community.
Back at that time, it was reported that the singer was to be fined USD 17,000 over her attitude towards gay people. On Monday, Madonna took it to Twitter to reveal that the amount was much higher, but she does not intend to pay it.
The 2012 event had sparked controversy before it happened. Moreover, it was the subject of a terrorist threat after Madonna publicly supported the imprisoned members of the Russian feminist group Pussy Riot, which had criticized President Vladimir Putin.
The US Embassy intervened to warn its citizens attending the venue to remain ”vigilant” regarding their security and well-being.
Despite all the warnings, Madonna used the stage to make a statement. She encouraged people to express their love to the gay community and treat it with respect. She also waved rainbow flags and pink bracelets that had been distributed beforehand.
As a result, Madonna faced a USD 10,7 million lawsuit from several civic groups, labeling her as a ”moralizing slut” for supporting Pussy Riots. Eventually, the case was dismissed. The court ruled out that Madonna did not violate the law as the attendees were over age 18.
Despite the fact that Moscow decriminalized homosexuality years ago, contemporary Russian society haas maintained a conservative and somewhat intolerant stance towards the LGBTQ community.
In 2013, the Russian government approved a law to ban and criminalize the distribution of materials promoting same-sex relationships to minors.
A recent study by the Levada Center, a non-governmental research group based in Moscow, found out that one in five Russians want to ”remove” gay and lesbian people from society.
Earlier in July, Russia voted in a referendum to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman exclusively. The majority of the participants voted in favor.
What do you think? Do you support or oppose the fine imposed to Madonna in 2012?