Madonna Fined $1 Million By Russian Government For LGBTQ+ Speech
Madonna has revealed she was fined $1 million by the Russian government for publicly supporting LGBTQ+ rights during a concert in St Petersburg.
The singer recently took to Twitter to share a video of the moment she spoke out while on stage during her MDNA Tour in 2012.
Addressing the cheering crowd, Madonna compared the fight for LGBTQ+ rights to the 1960s civil rights movement, and said she supported the ‘fight for the right to be free and be who we are’.
You can watch the video here:
Her words seemed to receive a warm welcome from the crowd, but it seems Russian officials were not impressed, later hitting her with a hefty fine as punishment for the public show of support.
The news made headlines at the time, with initial reports suggesting her words would cost her £13,500 ($17,000), NME reports. However, the singer has now revealed the fine was actually much higher, with officials deciding that public support of the LGBTQ+ community was worth a fine of $1 million.
Alongside the video of the speech, Madonna wrote:
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.
Madonna’s worldwide success means the charge probably wouldn’t have broken the bank, but the singer revealed that to this day she has refused to give in, writing: ‘I never paid’.
She added the hashtags ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘power to the people’, prompting many social media users to respond with praise for her steadfast nature.
One fan wrote:
That’s why I love you so much. Being bold, brave and courageous. You a true warrior Queen.
Thank you Madonna, we will always remember that even long before 2012, you supported and spoke loud about homophobia at a time when it was not safe or cool to do it. You fought and took risks.
Footage of the speech shows members of the crowd holding up rainbow signs as Madonna commented: ‘I’m travelling around the world and… I feel that people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different. People are becoming more and more intolerant.’
We can make a difference. We can change this…
I’m here to say that the gay community, and gay people, here and all around the world, have the same rights [as everyone else]… the same rights to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love.
Madonna has been a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community throughout her career, and in 2019 she was awarded the GLAAD Advocate for Change Award in recognition of her activism.
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