Russian promoter fined under anti-gay laws for the organization of a Lady Gaga concert

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A St. Petersburg court recently slapped Russian promoter group Planet Plus a fine of $614 (20,000 rubles) for their organization of a 2012 Lady Gaga concert, due to the show’s breach of St. Petersburg anti-gay propaganda laws.

The city’s court #122 responded to a complaint filed by Nadezhda Petrova, a local resident who took her thirteen-year-old daughter to see the pop star’s Born This Way Ball last December, where she says the young teen was exposed to imitation sexual intercourse between women and advocacy of alcohol consumption.

Judge Olga Rositskaya ruled that the promoter had violated a clause in Russia’s administrative code on “protection of children from information that could harm their health and /or development.” The ruling will allow the complainant to file further charges—which she reportedly plans to do, according to a statement from the conservative organization Labor Union of Russia Citizen that was featured in Russian online newspaper Gazeta.ru.

Petrova will be able to also file a criminal lawsuit against Planet Plus, demanding millions of rubles in damages for “psychic trauma” suffered by her daughter at St. Petersburg’s SKK, where the Born This Way Ball was held.

According to a quote from Yevgeny Filkenstein, general director of Planet Plus, the promoter group plans to appeal the court’s decision against them.

A similar lawsuit was filed against Madonna in August 2012, when she distributed pink wristbands and voiced her support for the city’s gays during her MDMA tour in St. Petersburg.

“We demand that she pay for moral damage suffered by St. Petersburg residents as a result of her actions during the show on August 9th,” a spokeswoman for the Union of Russian Citizens said at the time. “We must defend our right to normal cultural life without propaganda of values and views that contradict the Russian culture.” The lawsuit, however, was thrown out by the courts.

Earlier in 2013, the Russian government also accused Lady Gaga of violating her visa by performing in the country, claiming that she only held a cultural exchange visa, which wouldn’t have allowed her to work while traveling. This accusation allegedly came from the same legislator who wrote some of her the anti-gay laws that are now being upheld in the city, according to Rolling Stone.

Following the accusation brought on by Russia, the “Applause” singer took to Facebook in support of Russia’s gay community, calling for revolution in the process.

“Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia,” she wrote. “The rise in government abuse is archaic. Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia? The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom. Why didn’t you arrest me when you had the chance, Russia? Because you didn’t want answer to the world?”

No further prosecution efforts have been made regarding the pop singer’s visa status.

429Magazine

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