Madonna faces court over gay rights row
Oct 18, 2012, 8:01 GMT
Madonna will appear in court to defend allegations she encouraged gay sex between minors during a gig in Saint Petersburg.
The 'Material Girl' singer has been hit by lawsuit from a group of Russian activists which orders her to defend the comments she made during a show in August when she urged the crowd to support gay rights.
Nine members of the Trade Union of Russian Citizens are accusing her of blasphemy and damaging the cultural foundations of Saint Petersburg, claiming more than Â£6 million in compensation for 'moral damages' suffered during her concert.
Darya Dedova, a Union spokesperson, said: 'She insulted believers' feelings, she promoted homosexuality when there were children at the concert and this is forbidden in St Petersburg. We, the residents of the cultural capital, suffered a colossal moral damage.'
Madonna caused controversy when she asked the crowd to raise their hands while wearing pink bracelets she handed out in support of gay rights. However, a law passed last March makes promoting homosexuality illegal in the Russian city, and the activists have taken offence that children as young as 12 were at the concert.
Madonna reportedly asked the crowd to: 'Show your love and appreciation to the gay community. We want to fight for the right to be free.'
Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, also weighed in on the row, tweeting: 'With age, every former s**t tries to lecture everyone on morality. Either take off your cross, or put on your knickers.'
The 54-year-old singer is yet to appear in court - the first hearing took place on October 11, but it was postponed until October 25 because they didn't know Madonna's address to notify her, RT news reports.
Madonna previously offended the Kremlin by demanding the release of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.
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