Pop-singer Madonna does not intend to cancel her concert in St Petersburg. She will will perform in the city to show solidarity with the people in Russia who struggle for the rights of sexual minorities.
Masha Gessen, a well known Russian-American journalist, observed this week that Madonna, along with other artists and overseas companies, suggested a boycott of St Petersburg. According to Gessen, the St Petersburg anti-gay propaganda may ban any book on homosexuality, whereas same-same families that simply live with their children may break down.
In a statement published in a blog on the New York Times' website, Gessen urged Madonna to cancel her concert in Russia's cultural capital. The superstar's show is planned to be staged in August. Gessen also urged companies Mercedes-Benz and PepsiCo not to take part in the St Petersburg Economic Forum, which is planned to take place in June 2012.
Furthermore, on Monday, activists from a Russian gay rights movement called for the Governor of St Petersburg and the initiator of the law, Vitaly Milonov, to be punished and be prevented from entering the EU, the USA, Canada and Australia. They directed their corresponding appeals to the address of diplomatic representatives of Russia.
In answer to Gessen's appeal, Madonna announced on her Facebook page that she does not intend to cancel her show in St Petersburg. Bloomberg did say that the singer emphasised that she, as a supporter of human rights and freedom, would support the local gay community in the course of her appearance in St Petersburg.
"I'm a freedom fighter. My shows, my songs, my art- all of it is about freedom of self-expression, the freedom to choose, speak and act. Always with humanity and with compassion. I will go to St Petersburg to talk to members of the gay community, to support them and give them the strength to inspire anyone who feels oppressed. I do not run away from problems. During my show I'll be talking about this ridiculous cruelty," wrote Madonna on Facebook.
Madonna's concert in St Petersburg is expected to be on 9th August 2012, and will take place in the Sports-Concert Complex.