Madonna Vows to Speak Out Against Anti-Gay “Atrocity” in St. Petersburg, Russia

Global icon Madonna vows to speak out against a law banning gay “propaganda” when her tour stops in St. Petersburg, Russia — President-elect Vladimir Putin’s hometown — this August. “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,” she said by e-mail late yesterday. “I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.” The ban, which criminalizes the participation in or organization of gay groups, websites, books and periodicals, and LGBT Pride events, as well as the donning of gay pride pins, bumper stickers and the like, was signed into law on March 7th by St. Petersburg’s Governor Georgy Poltavchenko. — Fatima Najiy