A Russian judge has thrown out a case in which an anti-gay protest group attempted to sue Madonna for $10 million. The case arose following the Madonna’s concert in St. Petersburg, as part of her recent MDNA tour. During the St. Petersberg concert, she had the words “No Fear” scrawled on her back, in protest at a city law passed in March, which imposes fines for spreading homosexual “propaganda.” She also encouraged audience members to raise their hands with pink bracelets, in support of the gay movement. The global pop star had previously branded the law a “ridiculous atrocity.”
The activist group based their case on a video recording, in which they claimed Madonna could be seen “trampling on an Orthodox cross,” whilst she asked the audience to raise their pink bracelets, Reuters reports. The judge, Vitaly Barkovsy did not explain his decision but went even further, having decided that the activist group should also compensate the legal expenses incurred by the companies who organised Madonna’s concert in St. Petersberg.
One member of the activist group, Darya Dedova, said “Our position is the same. We believe there was a case of the breach of law, namely gay propaganda among minors.” Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, where it had previously been punished with a jail term in the Soviet Union. However, much of the gay community there remain underground, as prejudice is still strong there.