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November 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The decision by a Russian court to fine the promoter of an August Lady Gaga concert for violating a law barring “homosexual propaganda” has been hailed by the country’s anti-gay Trade Union of Russian Citizens while at the same time attacked by opponents of the law for stifling free expression. In a television interview, Darya Dedova, a spokeswoman for the Trade Union group, said, “We have managed to prove that the promoters were wrong and acted in breach of Russian laws, especially those important ones concerning the protection of children.” But Planeta Plus, the promoter, predicted that the outcome would have the effect of discouraging renowned performers from visiting the country. By the same token, Alyssa Rosenberg, features editor for, wrote today (Tuesday), “The “gay propaganda” laws are a way of punishing Russians who collaborate with outside artists, and potentially athletes, who are seen to be importing values that are in contravention with Russian culture. If you can get sued and bankrupted for booking an artist who voices support for gay rights, that’s a strong disincentive for bringing anyone with any stance on gay rights whatsoever into the country.” While the judge fined Planeta Plus 20,000 rubles (about $500), her ruling opens the door for a possible criminal lawsuit to be filed by the Trade Union. Continued protests over the law could also have the effect of drawing attention away from the competition at next year’s Olympic winter games in Sochi.