ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Madonna will not convicted of "gay propaganda" after a Russian court on Thursday tossed out a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages after the pop superstar spoke up for LGBT rights during a concert in St. Petersburg earlier this year. She had also angered Russian authorities by speaking out in support of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were jailed for criticizing the Putin government.
St. Petersburg, Moscow and other Russian cities have recently passes extremely anti-gay laws that prohibit even the discussion of LGBT issues in public and bans pride parades. Russia is known as a homophobic society.
Trade Union of Russian Citizens sued Madonna for 333 million rubles (almost $11 million) after she handed out pink wristbands at her St. Petersburg concert and blasted the "homosexual propaganda" law. Since youth as young as 12 attended the concert, the Trade Union contended that Madonna traumatized and brainwashed the young people who were there.
Madonna did not return to Russia for the hearing, which began Wednesday. Media reports indicate that the courtroom was packed with journalists who was admonished by the judge for reacting with laughter during the proceedings.
Lawyers for the Trade Union tried to persuade the judge that Madonna's "gay propaganda" would cause a drastic reduction in the birth rate and impact national security because gay men would be unable to serve in the military. The attorneys used every homophobic argument in the books, but in the end the judge dismissed the lawsuit.