This probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Madonna’s not about to let a few angry government officials shut her up.
Just after she voiced her support of jailed Russian punk act P—y Riot during a concert in Moscow — which reportedly upset the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin so much that he called her a “slut” on Twitter — Madonna was back at it again at a Thursday night show in St. Petersburg, this time delivering a fiery speech in support of LGBT rights.
“It’s a very strange time in the world, I’m traveling around the world, and I feel it in the air … I feel people are becoming more and more afraid of people who are different; people are becoming more and more intolerant,” she told the crowd. “It’s a very scary time, but we can make a difference. We can change this. We have the power. And we don’t have to do it with violence; we just have to do it with love.”
In recent months, Russia’s crackdown on LGBT protestors has drawn criticism from human rights organizations like Amnesty International, who noted in a recent report that “LGBT rights activists continued to face harassment and attacks. Attempted pride marches and pro-LGBT rights pickets in Moscow and Saint Petersburg were banned and promptly dispersed by police.”
Madonna made no actual reference to the Russian government, but instead drew parallels between the struggle for LGBT rights in the nation and the campaigns of Martin Luther King, Jr., who fought for equal rights for African Americans, in the face of increasingly violent opposition.
“The gay community here, and all around the world, have the same rights … to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love,” she said. “Are you with me? If you’re with me, I want to see your pink arm bands … if you’re with me, raise your arms and show your love and appreciation for the gay community.”
Madonna finished her speech by taking a jab at religious organizations who stand in the way of equal rights, telling the crowd at SKK Peterburgsky:
“Jesus preached this, Mohammed preached this, Buddha preached this, Moses preached this. It’s in every holy book: love thy neighbor as thyself. You cannot use religion to treat other people badly,” she said, as the crowd cheered. “We all deserve love. Let’s all go out into the world and spread this message of love, and live our lives without fear.”
What do you think of Madonna’s actions on tour? Let us know in the comments?