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Madonna defends LGBT rights and Pussy Riot at Russian concerts

By Kay Steiger
Friday, August 10, 2012 10:48 EDT
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Madonna via cinemafestival / Shutterstock.com
 
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Pop legend Madonna spoke in support LGBT people in Russia on Thursday as she completed a two-concert tour of the country that passed a ban on “homosexual propaganda” this year.

According to Reuters, Madonna wore black lingerie with the words “No Fear” written across her back and distributed pink wristbands at the door in support of LGBT rights.

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

Though the country decriminalized gay sex in 1993, the Russian government passed a ban on “homosexual propaganda” that could “damage the health, moral and spiritual development” of children in March.

Earlier this week, Madonna also called for support of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot, currently undergoing a trial for a concert performed on the steps of a cathedral in Moscow in protest of the country’s de facto political leader, Valadamir Putin. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Moscow in January to call for Putin’s resignation after a highly contested presidential election that protesters believed was illegitimate.

“I know there are many sides to every story, and I mean no disrespect to the church or the government, but I think these girls … have done something courageous and they have paid the price for this act and I pray for their freedom,” Madonna said in the show, where she wrote the words “Pussy Riot” on her back, according to the Guardian. “They deserve the right to be free.”

The results of the trial are expected as early as Aug. 17.

Watch the video, uploaded to YouTube by Madonna on Aug. 9.

Watch the video of Madonna speaking in support of Pussy Riot, uploaded by the Guardian on Aug. 8.

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
 
 
 
 
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