When Madonna was doing her MDNA tour in 2012, one of the stops on the tour was St. Petersburg, Russia. During the concert, Madonna spoke out against the growing anti-gay rhetoric in Russia and around the world. On Monday, July 20, 2020, the singer posted a video of that speech on her Instagram page with the caption:
“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…………..”
While NBC News could not confirm or deny Madonna’s claim, an anti-gay Russian group called the Trade Union of Russian Citizens attempted to sue Madonna in Russian courts for $10.5 million dollars with the claim of ‘homosexual propaganda.’ A spokesman for the group explained:
“We demand that she pay for moral damage suffered by St. Petersburg residents as a result of her actions during the show on August 9th. We must defend our right to normal cultural life without propaganda of values and views that contradict the Russian culture.”
The lawsuit was thrown out three months later with no explanation of why.
Madonna’s speech at the St. Petersburg concert came a year before Russia enacted its ‘gay propaganda’ law, which was passed under the guise of protecting traditional family values. Since then, attacks on LGBTQ Russians have increased and earlier this month, Russian parliament began the process of banning same-sex marriages.