MOSCOW – Madonna has signed up for a campaign in support of Russia’s LGBT community.
The U.S. singer, who has repeatedly expressed her outrage against the law on gay propaganda, has joined the Human Rights Campaign’s "Love Conquers Hate" initiative. As the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics approaches, more and more Western celebrities are worried that the law, adopted first in St. Petersburg and later nationwide, could be used as a means to crack down on the local LGBT community.
"Even with the 2014 Sochi Olympics just a few months away, fair-minded Russians are facing fines, harassment and violence at the hand of thugs," Madonna said on the campaign’s website. "At this dangerous moment in Russian history, we, as advocates, have a responsibility to speak up and take our hopeful message global."
She continued: "Together, we can send a message to LGBT Russians that the world is on their side, and that those who seek to support them aren’t alone in this fundamental fight for fairness."
Russian LGBT rights organizations have welcomed Madonna’s move. "It is very important that celebrities like Madonna or Lady Gaga join initiatives of that kind,” Maria Kozlovskaya, a lawyer for the Russian LGBT Network, a national organization with a headquarters in St Petersburg, told the The Hollywood Reporter.
"That inspires the LGBT community members to further fight for their rights and gives them hope for improvement of their situation," she added.
Madonna’s August 2012 performance in St Petersburg, during which she spoke in support of local gays, waved an LGBT flag and stripped to black lingerie, showing the words "No Fear" scrawled on her bare back, stirred controversy. A local organization tried to sue her under the gay propaganda law for $10 million (333 million rubles), but the court threw out the lawsuit.