(MOSCOW) — A lawmaker in St. Petersburg has a message for Madonna: keep your pants on. Literally.
City councilman Vitaly Miranov warned the pop star not to step out of line during her upcoming concert there on Aug. 9.
“We are warning the organizers of her concert to make it as decent as possible. Otherwise we will use the harsh laws against them. I heard that during the concerts of this tour she has taken off her pants. We do not need that here,” Milanov said, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
The Material Girl caught Miranov’s ire earlier this year after she vowed to speak out from the stage against a harsh new anti-gay law, which would make it a crime to discuss homosexuality around minors. He threatened to fine her if she did and said in March that he would was willing to “personally suffer” through her concert in order “to control its moral content.”
The so-called “gay gag rule,” which Miranov proposed, would impose hefty fines up to $16,700 on violators. A similar law was later approved at a national level. The laws’ supporters say it’s meant to protect children from gay “propoganda,” but opponents say it’s just the latest in a string of efforts to discriminate against gay, lesbian, and transgender people.
Madonna is not the only famous musician standing up for gay rights in the region.
On Saturday Elton John begged Ukrainian authorities to stop a recent pattern of violence against gay activist leaders.
“I plead with you. Stop the violence against gay people,” he said during a pause in his act, which headlined a concert ahead of the EuroCup soccer tournament final, which was held in Kiev.
Lady Gaga has also repeatedly spoken out against the treatment of homosexuals in Russia.
Homosexuality was banned in the Soviet Union and was only decriminalized in 1993, though it was still declared a mental disorder until 1999. It remains highly taboo in Russia.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chandrika Narayan, CNN
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com