Madonna is no stranger to freedom of expression (i.e her hit “Express Yourself), so it didn’t come as a surprise when she announced that she planned on speaking out against St. Petersburg’s new anti-gay law when she plays a show there as part of her World Tour.
“I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed. I’m a freedom fighter.” -Madonna
The law that went into effect on March 7th states that it is considered an offense to engage in “the propaganda of male homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, transgenderism among minors.” The term “Propaganda” is defined in the law as “the intentional and unregulated distribution in a publicly accessible manner of information that can harm the health or the process of moral and spiritual development of minors, including forming among them the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal.” In other words, the law is preventing any support of LGBT activity, as they believe it will effect the moral development in young people. It is also believed that in preventing this type of expression, minors will be able to understand relationships in a more “traditional” light.
Madonna and several others–especially those in the gay community have spoken out loud about this moral panic.
An editorial from the New York Times, is begging Madonna and anyone else to remain out of Moscow as a way of protest. Madonna’s Facebook page however shows no signs of avoidance.
Her Timeline reads:
I’m a freedom fighter.
Is all about freedom of expression
Freedom to choose to speak to act
Always with humanity and compassion
I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community, to support the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed.
I don’t run away from adversity.
I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity
Madonna’s latest video “Girl Gone Wild,” (and the majority of Madonna’s persona) possesses a strong homoerotic and pro LGBT theme, so it isn’t unlikely that her tour will reflect the same content. The repercussions of her future actions have not been publicly known, however, the chances of those involved with the creation of the law being OK with her future activism against it isn’t likely.
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