Madonna was fined $1 million by Russian government over LGBTQ+ rights speech

Madonna has claimed she was fined $1 million (£800,000) by the Russian government for publicly supporting LGBTQ rights during a concert in the country in 2012.

The Vogue singer delivered a moving speech, praising love and freedom and comparing LGBTQ fights to the civil rights movement in the 1960s, when she performed in St. Petersburg as part of her MDNA Tour.

While at the time it was reported that Madonna was to be fined $17,000 (£13,500) over the incident, she took to social media on Monday to reveal it was actually a much higher amount.

Sharing a clip from the concert and revealing the fine, she tweeted: “I made this speech at a concert in St. Petersburg 8 years ago. I was fined 1 million dollars by The government for supporting the Gay community.”

“I never paid,” Madonna insisted, alongside the hashtags “#freedomofspeech #powertothepeople #mdna”.

Madonna has been a lifelong advocate for the LGBTQ community and was honoured with the GLAAD Advocate for Change Award for her ongoing activism last year.

In her speech at the 2012 concert, she told the crowd: “I’m here to say that the gay community, and gay people, here and all around the world, have the same rights (as everyone else)… the same rights to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love”.

Before her visit to Russia, authorities were considering a bill which prohibited advocating homosexuality to children. It was eventually passed in 2013.

July 21, 2020
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