Madonna hasn’t been shy about expressing her distaste for Russia’s anti-gay laws, and now she’s joining the Human Rights Campaign’s “Love Conquers Hate” initiative to stop the country from targeting their citizens with hateful laws.
In a post on the LGBT equality-rights advocacy group’s website, Madonna expressed concern over the country’s law, which went into effect this summer, and classifies “homosexual propaganda” as pornography. This means anyone who is gay or supports gay rights is subject to arrest and fines. Her fear, like many other Westerners, is that these laws will be used to hurt the local LGBT community.
“Even with the 2014 Sochi Olympics just a few months away, fair-minded Russians are facing fines, harassment and violence at the hand of thugs,” Madonna wrote on the Human Rights Campaign’s website. “At this dangerous moment in Russian history, we, as advocates, have a responsibility to speak up and take our hopeful message global.”
Adding, “Make no mistake about it: the goal of these hateful laws is to leave LGBT Russians feeling isolated. Worthless. Completely alone.”
The LGBT community in Russia are happy to get some support from those elsewhere in the world. “It is very important that celebrities like Madonna or Lady Gaga join initiatives of that kind,” Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer for the Russian LGBT Network, a national organization with a headquarters in St Petersburg, told The Hollywood Reporter.
It’s not surprising that Madonna would stand in solidarity with those in Russia, being that she herself was targeted by this law.
After Madonna’s August 2012 performance in St Petersburg, where she spoke in support of gay right, a local organization tried to sue her under the gay propaganda law for $10 million (333 million rubles), but the court threw out the lawsuit.
Currently, a promoter for Lady Gaga’s December 2012 show in St. Petersburg is also being fined for violating a local law against exposing children to “harmful information” after a local resident claimed that her 13-year-old daughter was subjected to “an imitation of sexual intercourse between women and advocacy of alcohol consumption.”
“Together, we can send a message to LGBT Russians that the world is on their side,” Madonna wrote. “And that those who seek to support them aren’t alone in this fundamental fight for fairness.”
Madonna is asking fans to provide much-needed support to LGBT advocates in Russia by buying the Russian-language Love Conquers Hate t-shirt.