Baloney vs. Ciccone

Saint Petersburg Official: We’ll Punish Madonna If She Breaks Our “Gay Gag” Law

Gay-hating Russian politico Vitaly Milonov had some stark words yesterday for Madonna, in response to her announcement that she wouldn’t be cancelling her upcoming Saint Petersburg concert in protest of the city’s recently passed “gay gag” law, but would instead “speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.”

“If Madonna or one of the organizers of the concert breaks the city law, they will be punished,” warned Milonov, who has promised to be present at the August 9 event, likely brandishing his trusty Samsung Galaxy Nexus at the ready for naughty Madge. (Milonov is pictured above using his smartphone to capture what he characterized as “disruptive” international observers during the recent farce election of Russian President Vladimir Putin.)

Milonov, the author of the Saint Peterburg bill that makes illegal anything that can be perceived as “promotion of homosexuality,” added that the superstar would likely be fined under the law’s “individual” category, which would mean a fine of 5000 rubles, or about $170.

Considering the price of Madonna’s 2012 World Tour tickets — as well as the fact that Milonov will most likely not be comped into the show — we’ll call that a wash.

Meanwhile in rather surprising news, Russian gay rights freedom fighter Nikolai Alekseev announced yesterday that a Saint Petersburg district court has allowed his defamation lawsuit to continue against Milonov.

Alekseev filed the one million ruble (about $34,000) suit two weeks ago after Milonov appeared in a Russian TV interview accusing Alekseev of being funded by Western sources. Milonov also questioned Alekseev’s gender, saying that he didn’t know how old Alekseev is, but “you don’t usually ask girls about this.”

Image via YouTube

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  • Tom

    If Madonna really wanted to do something she would refuse to perform in any city, state or country that pass “gay gag” laws. If Ray Charles refused to play in Jim Crow states Madonna can do the same.

  • Seamus

    I remember that when Madonna was asked to change her show during the Blonde Ambition Tour in Canada, she refused and went on the stage and performed it like normal, even though she was threatened with being arrested. I don’t think much intimidates this woman. She’ll do what she likes.

  • DouggSeven

    She should cancel her show and a boycot should go public (like the one a Canadian official warned their gay community about). Who better to bring this to the media’s attention and start the ball rolling? Major airlines should also cancel flights there to protect their gay employees.

  • Vladimir

    @DouggSeven: Well, just imagine if she is fined for homosexual propaganda. That could bring this idiotic situation to media attention

  • Evan Mulvihill

    Bitch better perform in a rainbow pantsuit, or ELSE.

  • randy

    @Tom: No. It’s is much better to confront the problem directly. Kudos to Madonna to be willing to do this. When a major pop star supports gay rights, that has an effect, even in Russia. It won’t change things overnight, but it plants a seed.

  • Erik

    I’m glad she’s not cancelling. I think going there and confronting the issue on stage is much more powerful. If she cancelled who would she be punishing? Her mostly gay fans who paid to see her in the first place.

  • Sansacro

    Governments and individuals should be confronted; businesses boycotted.

  • Continuum

    Completely disagree with those folks who say Madonna shouldn’t perform in St Petersburg.

    It will do more for gay rights, if she gives her concert and speaks out to the audience about equality for gays in Russia.

    She’ll convince more of the young folks (and maybe some elders) by lending her voice to the gay equality cause than if she by-passes all the bigoted cities and nations.

    BTW — If there’s anyone who should be boycotting St Petersburg, it is Atlantis tours. In that case, why should gay Americans spend their money to fund the anti-gay and possibly risky cities.

  • Houston Bill

    I just reached out to Atlantis. They’re doubling down on going to St Petersburg and said the new law, per their sources, will not be enforced. Maybe I should call Nikolai Alekseev and let them know that Gay Pride St Petersburg (or even a protest for Gay rights) in St Petersburg will be permitted this year. I’m sure it will be news to Mr Alekseev or Mr Baev in Russia. Atlantis apparently hasn’t heard (or is ignoring) the fact that the LGBT persons in St Petersburg are already being denied basic freedoms as a result of this law. Unfortunately, it fits into a larger problem of Atlantis belittling the real problems of criminalization against Gay persons and other forms of EXTREME human rights abuses by calling laws against Gay persons antiquated (read – irrelevant).

    I get it – they are a business. And a business can’t make money if they scare off their clients. They can do cruises, even in the Caribbean that don’t feed money to homophobic regimes. They certainly can do them in Europe. But given the Krumholtz and related other passengers drug bust incident last year, the suicide this year, and the arrests this year, as well as their apparent staggering disregard for the community from which they operate, I’m done with them. Besides, if you’ve been on more than two of these cruises, you find that they’re pretty much all the same and get old quickly for me at least. I went on two Mexican Riviera cruises – fun but a bit druggy in my opinion. Cancun, which was cheap, but the food and amenities showed that. And last year I went on the Southern Caribbean Cruise, which was nice – except they stopped in homophobic St Lucia – I was not aware of any announcement by Atlantis or the cruise operator notifying the guests of the fact that being Gay in St Lucia is against the law when I was on the boat.

    I guess that, per Atlantis, its cool to pump money into a nations that abuses and discriminates against its’ LGBT population, so long as the rich Western tourists that they caters to don’t have to face the reality of the discrimination. Who cares about the LGBT communities in those nations? I do. I don’t think Atlantis does. And its not just because they go there. Its because they find it impossible to even admit that persecution of Gay persons in Dominica, Grenada, and Russia exists or is even worth complaining or protesting about.

    Just so were clear.

    1) The Canadian Foreign Ministry has issued an offical travel warning instructing Gay travellers to St Petersburg to exercise extreme caution

    2) The European Commission has condemned the new law in St Petersburg

    3) The US State Department has condemned the new law in St Petersburg

    4) The UK Foreign Ministry has criticized the new law in St Petersburg

    5) All Out,, and other groups are calling for tourists to stay away.

    6) Atlantis says the government and the gay community doesn’t anticipate any problems with them coming to St Petersburg. I asked them who they talked to. Didn’t get a response on that one.

    Atlantis had better be right about Russia. Because if anything happens on that cruise stop in St Petersburg, its not going to look pretty. While I’m not a lawyer, it appears that ANY public display of any homosexual symbol or any homosexual speech (even a Gay flag or a “Legalize Gay” T-shirt) can land you in jail or worse in St Petersburg under the new law as it appears to be applied. If a Duma Representative is threatening to arrest Madonna for saying “Gay is Good”, I think its reasonable to assume that they’ll be unconcerned about roughing up or arresting some random not-famous Gay person from a Gay cruise.

    I’ve been on those cruises. While there are many on the boat that are political and culturally aware, there are many that are completely ignorant as to where they are or what the political reality is. This could get ugly. Russia is changing…quickly. And not for the better.

    At any rate, Atlantis doesn’t appear to care about LGBT rights. Full stop.

  • Delius

    Oh, boy another publicity stunt by Hagdonna.
    If she truly cared she would not be opening her gymnasium in St. P, let alone making money off her tour.

    I mean if she truly cared about gay issues she would boycott Russia…just have celebrities have done in the past..e.g. ZImbabwe, South Africa, etc.

    Its not as if she’s a true artist anyway.
    She’s no Kate Bush.

    Hagwoman is only in it for the money.

  • Mike

    Listening to Vage’s music including her new music is punishment alone! I agree with Delius, Vadge isn’t any sort of person who cares about LGBT rights and she’s only doing this because Lady Gaga has actually done a lot for LGBT people.

  • jason

    Vitaly Milanov looks as gay as a picnic basket. Even if he is straight, he looks like one of those hypocrites who decries gay men but masturbates over lesbians.

    Perhaps darling Vitaly needs to have his anal region poked with a hairbrush as a prelude to the real thing.

  • Matthew Rettenmund

    Should she boycott America because of DOMA?

    There is no comparing this to apartheid; sorry, but artists boycotted S.A. because an entire group of people were kept segregated. Artists who DID play there, Elton John included, played to all-white audiences. In this case, Madonna would be playing to many of the people oppressed by this law. She will be drawing immeasurable attention to its stupidity and its inhumanity. That is a good thing. If you think she should cancel, that’s a valid opinion, but it’s stupid to rain scorn on Madonna, who’s on your fuckin’ side.

    To the Gaga idiots: Grow the fuck up. Lady Gaga is AMAZING. Love her. SO is Madonna. Love her, too. Regardless of whether you like either’s music (or if you’re an ageist troll who hides behind words like Hagdonna or a misogynist fuck hiding behind Vadge—or the same person making multiple comments, cough), both women are bona fide gay icons who are on our side. They don’t get a free pass to do anything they like, but in general, they deserve our support. It’s the pigs who made this law who deserve the not-so-clever insults and expressions of frustration.

  • Christopher Banks

    Milonov should be cast as the villain in the next instalment of The Human Centipede. He’s got the look.

  • jason

    The end of Vitaly’s nose looks like a penis with a touch of syphilis.

  • Just being real

    Madonna is NOT on our side, she just sees LGBT people as her personal ATM and knows that she can churn out shit and LGBT people will buy her music and go to her concerts no matter how bad her music is or how bad her performances are and how highly expensive they are.

  • Rodrigo Trujillo

    Madonna is doing the right thing.
    All gay people that live there must be desperate for anything gay related to happen. It would be a crime to deprive them from some gay-related entertainment.
    Even if the original idea of the tour didn’t have that many gay-related themes, now it will have lots of them because this guy is threatening her and girlfriend is going to fight back! Also have you seen Girl Gone Wild, obviously it is going to have lots of man on man action.
    How easy you people forget how many times she has spoken for the gays and about AIDS. She doesn’t need to prove anything else to show that she is an ally.

  • Blah, bla..huh?

    LMAO at the thought of Russian nationals attempting to wrap their noggins around the concept of “defamation”. Thinking as if they might come to some conclusion or another and actually institutionalize it at any level of Russian society? That’s even funnier. Defaming others is so Russian, so intractably humdrum a skill when it comes to negotiating daily life there, any remedy is a simply surreal proposition. Russians practically invented the conspiracy theory, creating paranoia in others is considered forward thinking there.

  • B

    If she gets a $170 fine, she’ll get $100,000 in free publicity.

    Re No. 20 “Russians practically invented the conspiracy theory …” There’s an opera entitle Khovanshchina. The title modified one of the character’s names, Khovansky, with an ending to turn his last name into a word meaning “The Khovansky affair” – political intrigue. You don’t have to use “conspiracy theory” in Russian – they have a word ending for it.

    The effect is like adding “nomics” to a person’s name in American English to refer to the economic policy pushed by that individual. In Russia, there were so many plots that political intrigue got its own world ending.

    The title gets used when one of the characters more or less says, “I will get to the bottom of this Khovanshchina.” Heads roll and the plotters who keep their heads burn themselves to death to avoid being captured.

    With stories like that, a $170 fine sounds almost civil!

  • Dan Allen

    @Mark Moscow: Spasiba/Thanks for sharing. Looks fascinating… just wish my Russian was better!

  • Blah, bla..huh?

    @B: It’s so impossible to explain that to Americans (of which I am one, with now deceased, R.I.P. Russian grandparents), the language contains verbiage in it’s grammar that runs ohhh…17 tenses deep? That’s to our three. So as an American who truthfully has mastered the grammar of my own language tentatively, mostly intuitively, I can safely say to the rest of us: You’re missing so much context as to what is really going on there. Understanding the conversation being presented is like trying to read the concluding word of this post to decifer its total message. Things are in flux at the moment regarding LGBT’s in Russia, and headway IS being made, despite all appearances.

  • jason

    Its a very ugly language to listen to. They talk very fast as well.

  • Geri

    This will be interesting. If she speaks out against this law on stage in Saint Peterburg then I say good for her.

    This Saint Peterburg law actually sounds very similar to the infamous Section 28 law that Maggie Thatcher’s Tories passed in the UK in 1989. It was repealed in 2000. Also in 2000 the age of homosexual consent for men was lowered from 18 to 16 to bring it into line with heterosexual consent and homosexual consent for women. Then in 2004 we got civil partnerships for same-sex couples and hopefully we will be getting equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in the near future.

    I bet most Russians think it’s a bullshit law.

  • Fairy Qing

    @Evan Mulvihill: why don’t u write about pussy riot case?

    thay did an action for gay rights and now they are in prison, they might get 7 years for just singing in church

    but u consider Madonna more important, though she won’t risk a single dollar

  • Lare

    oh please. Leave Mdonna alone.
    Im from SPB, and i absolutely want her show. Because i dont want boycote, it will not give anything. Local media immediately shut down the problem. if the concert will be held
    , they will talk about it until the concert.
    with love

  • Mark Moscow

    @Fairy Qing: Because at this site (despite the fact that it reads the entire planet), the editors write only what is interesting to the American users, with pleasing them by nice and slow language. And some even believe that YouTube, and the Internet in general, are also only for the Americans ..))) The entire planet needs to know American English, but that’s how many Americans know at least one foreign language?

  • B

    No. 28 · Mark Moscow wrote, “how many Americans know at least one foreign language?”
    Keine Ahnung. ????

  • B

    Re No 29 – Queerty apparently can’t handle Unicode Chinese characters, hence the question marks.

Comments are closed.