Lady Gaga's Russian promoters fined over St Petersburg gig

A Russian court has ruled that Lady Gaga "promoted homosexuality" at her December 2012 gig in St Petersburg.

The singer's Russian concert promoter has been ordered to pay a fine in connection with a civil suit by a woman who attended Gaga's show with her 13-year-old daughter.

Gaga's promoter, Planeta Plus, is being sued by a member of the anti-gay Trade Union of Russian Citizens, one of the groups that unsuccessfully pursued Madonna for promoting "homosexual propaganda" at a gig in August 2012. Accompanying her daughter to Lady Gaga's concert, Nadezhda Petrova claims she saw performers simulating lesbian sex acts and watched Gaga announce her support for Russia's LGBT community. She also accused the singer of encouraging her fans to consume alcohol.

Unlike the Trade Union's case against Madonna, which relied on a controversial new federal law, Petrova brought her case using an earlier piece of legislation: a clause in Russia's administrative code, protecting children "from information that could harm their health and/or development". While judge Olga Rositskaya only fined Planeta Plus 20,000 rubles (£381) for the "harm" caused to Petrova's daughter, this ruling could apparently be the basis for a criminal lawsuit seeking damages for "psychic trauma".

"We have managed to prove that the promoters were wrong and acted in breach of Russian laws, especially those important ones concerning the protection of children," Union spokeswoman Darya Dedova told RIA Novosti. But the general director of Planeta Plus called the case a "cheap publicity trick", complaining that the country's anti-gay legislation has had a chilling effect on visiting artists. "Just recently, Peter Gabriel, who has never performed in Russia, refused to come because of this law and because he supported Pussy Riot," said Yevgeny Finkelstein. Finkelstein had previously spoken out against Russia's prosecutor general, who alleged in August that Madonna and Lady Gaga used incorrect visas to enter the country for their shows.

Powered by article was written by Sean Michaels, for on Tuesday 19th November 2013 09.43 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


image: © Lori Tingey

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