A Russian court has rejected claims that Madonna violated a St Petersburg law against the spreading of so called “homosexual propaganda”.
There was no evidence that she had inflicted “psychological trauma” on the city’s people, the court ruled.
The plaintiff had accused the singer of lowering Russia’s defence capacity by making young people more interested in “filth” than “family-building”.
The St Petersburg court heard the case against the 54-year-old singer who performed in the city in August. The suit was filed after Madonna urged her audience to support the gay community.
Nine conservative activists accused her of breaking the recently adopted law banning the promotion of homosexuality. They are seeking around £6.5m in damages.
In court, the complainants said Madonna’s “violations” threaten to unhinge Russian social order:
Court papers said: “A public, thoroughly planned performance affected the childbearing rates as after Madonna’s words Russia’s youth will be more interested in filth than family building. The country is going to lose its defence capacity as a result.”
Russian gay rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev dismissed the claims: “If two Madonna shows could affect Russia’s childbearing rates and defence capacity so strongly, then these activists should organise 20 performances in support of the institution of family. The problem they are likely to encounter is the fact that no one would come to see their show.
“People paid their own money to be able to see Madonna’s performance, because they like her art. No one was brought to the concert hall by force. These charges are a load of nonsense. The government is using these groups of people to cover up for their own inability to tackle the country’s demographic problems.”
Madonna enraged some St Petersburg citizens by handing out pink anti-homophobia wristbands during her show and telling them to “fight for the right to be free”. Her stunt was aimed at the anti-gay law which saw gay pride parade banned for promoting “gay lifestyles” and the “propagation of homosexuality”.