Madonna to fight for gay rights in Russia

Madonna is going to Russia in August with a mission: not only to perform for her fans there, but also to fight for the rights of the gay community in St. Petersburg, reports “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,” wrote the singer on her Facebook page yesterday. The pop star was responding to controversy over a new law in the Russian metropolis, signed into effect on 7 March by St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko, that bans homosexual "propaganda" for fear it could influence minors by giving “the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal. Poltavchenko is a political ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. "I'm a freedom fighter," the statement begins. "My show/My songs/My work/My art/Is all about freedom of expression, freedom to choose to speak to act, always with humanity and compassion...I don't run away from adversity. I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity." Madonna is scheduled to perform in St. Petersburg on 9 August, following a concert in Moscow two days prior.