Madonna's been called many things during her long, prolific career, but this is a first: "[promoter] of gay rights to minors." Say what? According to a Times report, the pop icon is being sued for breaking a thinly-veiled discriminatory St. Petersburg law that prohibits "propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism" that could "damage the health, moral and spiritual development of the under aged" (for the record, Russia does not ban homosexuality itself, just people being gay near kids).
Madonna's offense? Handing out pink bracelets meant to encourage tolerance of homosexuality at a St. Petersburg show in August. Russian officials claim they have no problem with this, in theory, but because there were children in the audience as young as 12, Madonna and her promoters "crossed a line."
The 54-year-old singer did not attend the pre-trial hearing in St. Petersburg yesterday, but the court ruled anyway that there was "sufficient evidence" to sue her for £6.5m (which roughly translates as 10 million US dollars).Whether or not Madonna will have to cough up that full amount is TBD, but at the very least, she earns a spot on the (growing) list of Russia's public enemies, alongside punk protest group Pussy Riot. And that is how you know you have global influence. [The Daily Swarm]