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Like a virgin: Madonna cleared of accusations in Russian court

Published time: November 22, 2012 17:52
Edited time: November 22, 2012 21:52
US singer Madonna performs during her concert at Olympic Hall in Moscow on August 7, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mikhail Metzel)

US singer Madonna performs during her concert at Olympic Hall in Moscow on August 7, 2012 (AFP Photo / Mikhail Metzel)

The case against the Queen of Pop in a Russian court was dismissed upon her acquittal, after Russian anti-gay activists accused her of promoting homosexuality and "threatening the country’s defense capacity."

­The accusations were prompted by Madonna’s act during her MDNA tour in Russia, when she vocally advocated for equal rights for gay people. Her behavior enraged a handful of St. Petersburg-based public organizations, which in turn launched legal procedures against the singer.

In August, nine pro-homophobia activists filed a complaint with the court demanding over $10 million in moral damages, promising to use the money to "protect" city residents from homosexuality and pedophilia.

The activists claimed that Madonna’s stand on equality corrupted the minds of Russian young people, saying that because of her, “boys and girls will indulge in lechery more and this will lead to the loss of the country’s defense capacity.”

The judge stressed that tickets for the concert featured an “18+” sign, stipulating that the audience should be of age.

The plaintiffs also tried to provide a Wikipedia article about symbols used in the LGBT community as evidence, saying that many at the concert had rainbow flags – one symbol used by the LGBT community.

They also alerted the court that audience members were given pink bracelets, supposedly for security purposes, but during the concert they were asked to raise their hands to support equality.

However, the court ruled to clear the singer of all the accusations, ordering the suitors to pay the concert organizers' legal expenses.

Madonna was not present at the hearings, though the court sent an English-language summons to her New York address.

St. Petersburg recently adopted a law banning “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism, and pedophilia to minors.”

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