Lady Gaga's Russia Show Promoter Fined for 'Gay Propaganda'
A St. Petersburg court ruled that the singer promoted alcohol consumption and homosexuality at her show in the city last December, violating a local law against exposing children to "harmful information."
MOSCOW -- A St. Petersburg court has fined the organizers of last year's local show by Lady Gaga for "propaganda of alcohol consumption and homosexuality."
The city's court #122 responded to a complaint by Nadezhda Petrova, a local resident, who claimed that during the show, her 13-year-old daughter was exposed to an imitation of sexual intercourse between women and advocacy of alcohol consumption.
Judge Olga Rositskaya ruled that the show's organizer, the promoter Planeta Plus, had violated a clause in Russia's administrative code on "protection of children from information that could harm their health and/or development."
Although the amount of the fine is rather symbolic, $614 (20,000 rubles), the ruling will allow the complainant to sue Planeta Plus in a criminal court, demanding millions of rubles in damages for "psychic trauma" suffered by her daughter at the show at St. Petersburg's SKK, which they both attended last December.
Online newspaper Gazeta.ru quoted a spokesperson for the Labor Union of Russian Citizen, a marginal conservative organization believed to be behind the complaint, as saying that Petrova is considering further legal action.
Planeta Plus plans to appeal the decision. "We don't agree with this verdict because no one listened to us," Yevgeny Filkenstein, general director, said on the air of the network NTV-Petersburg. "Because of these laws against gay propaganda adopted here, because of these cheap publicity tricks, all viewers suffer."
"Just recently, Peter Gabriel, who has never performed in Russia, refused to come because of this law and because he supported Pussy Riot."
He cited Russia's federal law "against propaganda of homosexuality among minors," enacted earlier this year. A similar law was enacted in St. Petersburg even earlier, and there was an attempt to sue Madonna after her show in the city in August 2012 under that legislation, but the court threw out the lawsuit.