Today In Madonna History: August 20, 2012

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On August 20 2012, a law suit was filed by nine Russians who were offended that Madonna had asked fans to raise their hands to show their support for the Russian LGBT community during a concert stop in St. Petersburg, Russia—where it is illegal to promote homosexuality to minors.

In her speech during the concert, Madonna called for members of Russia’s LGBT community to be “treated with dignity, with respect, with compassion, with love,” and took the country to task for crackdowns on those who expressed opposition against the country’s oppressive laws.

“I feel people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different; people are becoming more intolerant,” she said. “It’s a very scary time, but we can make a difference. We can change this. We have the power. And we don’t have to do it with violence; we just have to do it with love.”

Although the suit did make it to trial in November 2012, it was promptly dismissed by the presiding judge after briefly questioning the plaintiffs about the arbitrary nature of the case given the volume of contemporary entertainment which contains “positive references to homosexuality.” The suit had sought damages of approximately $10.5 million from Madonna, the organizer of her concert, and the hall where it was held.

Today in Madonna History: August 10, 2012

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On August 10 2012, a senior ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin used a Twitter post to attack Madonna after she called for the release of three women who faced prison over an irreverent performance in Moscow’s main cathedral.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a nationalist politician and former envoy to NATO, posted the tweet after Madonna told a Moscow concert audience the jailed members of punk band Pussy Riot were “courageous” and deserved to be free.

“Every ex-wh*re tends to lecture everybody with age. Especially during world tours and concerts,” Rogozin, who lead Russia’s drive to upgrade the army and defense industry, wrote in a tweet in English.

Today in Madonna History: August 9, 2012

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On August 9 2012, Madonna spoke out for gay rights at an “MDNA” concert in St Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s home town, where  a law was adopted to curb homosexual “propaganda.”

Performing in black lingerie with the words “No Fear” scrawled on her bare back, Madonna urged the audience – most wearing pink wrist bands distributed at the door – to “show your love and appreciation to the gay community”.

“We want to fight for the right to be free,” she said.