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Gay rights activists in Russia unimpressed by Madonna's support of their plight

March 23, 2012

Madonna, a world-renowned pop star, announced plans to stand against recently passed laws banning the promotion of homosexuality at an upcoming concert in Saint Petersburg. Bloomberg reports she referred to herself as a "freedom fighter," but not everyone agrees. Gay rights activists plan to protest Madonna's August 7 concert, even though she seems to be on their side, according to the AFP.

"We intend to protest against the hypocrisy of pop stars," Yury Gavrikov, the head of Saint Petersburg's Gay Russia branch, told the AFP. "In Russia they have fantastic earnings, and this allows them to forget about the problems of human rights. If people like Madonna boycott their concerts particularly in Saint Petersburg that could have economic consequences, and that is important, while declarations of support for gay rights at concerts mean nothing."

The law passed earlier this month bans the sharing of homosexual "propaganda" with youth in the city, and violators face fines up to $17,000. The nation only legalized homosexuality in 1993, and this law is seen by many as a major step backwards.

Those who want to find out more about the situation can use international phone cards to make calls to Russia.

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