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St. Petersburg deputy threatens Madonna with a fine

Source: (info), 23/03/12

· Leningrad region & St. Petersburg

· Sexual minorities

A United Russia deputy to the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly, Vitaly Milonov, warned Madonna on Thursday that she would be prosecuted for violation of the administrative code if found responsible for promoting homosexuality among minors at her upcoming concert.

“If Madonna herself or any of the concert organizers violate city law, they would be punished,” Milonov told Interfax. He said the singer may be fined 5,000 roubles, or approximately $170, while the organizers may face fines of up to 500,000 roubles.

Milonov added that he would go to Madonna’s concert to “monitor the moral content of the programme,” reported.

“Personally, I’m ready to sacrifice a few hours and sit through her performance,” the deputy said. He said he is aware of the “readiness of St. Petersburg activists to come to the concert so that in case anything happens, they can serve as witnesses in court to any violation of city law.”

Madonna recently spoke out in support of sexual minorities and called the ban on homosexual propaganda, which was passed on Milonov’s initiative, a “ridiculous atrocity.”

“I will come to St. Petersburg to speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed,” Madonna wrote on her Facebook page.

Meanwhile, deputies from the Novosibirsk Legislative Assembly are preparing a bill on homosexual propaganda similar to the scandalous legislation passed in St. Petersburg, Interfax reported.

“We will create a working group to develop a regional law that would call for tougher measures against propaganda and advertising, especially among teens and children,” said legislative assembly speaker Ivan Moroz. “Initially we didn’t take it very seriously, but when we dug a little deeper into this issue, we realized it deserves serious discussion.”

On 11 March, St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko signed a bill banning “the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia.” Activists from the Russian LGBT movement appealed to government officials in the European Union, the United States, Canada and Australia, demanding that they ban Poltavchenko and legislative assembly deputy Milonov, who authored the bill, from entering their countries.

“Milonov and Poltavchenko have disgraced Russia before the entire world,” the appeal letter said. “They succeeded in returning our country and her cultural capital to medieval barbarianism, which means they have no place among the modern, civilized countries of the world. Deputy Vitaly Milonov and Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, who don’t share the values of democracy or the rights and liberties of the individual, must not be allowed to propagandize their homophobia abroad.”