Madonna acquitted of breaking Russian anti-gay law

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Charges that Madonna broke a homophobic censorship ban in the Russian city of St Petersburg have been dropped – at the same time lawmakers in Moscow have vetoed a proposed anti-gay bill.

Homophobic activists had tried to prosecute the US singer over accusations that she violated St Petersburg’s policy on the “promotion of homosexuality” among minors.

The ban on LGBT public expression came into force earlier this year.

Nine plaintiffs said they were “desperate” to make the Material Girl pay for their “moral suffering” following her performance in the city during August.

It was after she spoke out against the ban on stage and handed out pink bracelets.

She also issued a message of support for the imprisoned LGBT-supporting feminist punk band Pussy Riot.

The pro-Kremlin group, Trade Union of Russian Citizens, wanted 333 million rubles (around $10 million, £ 6.18 million) from Madonna and from the company that organised her show.

However on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported that the case had been dismissed by a St Petersburg court.

Despite a court summons, Madonna did not attend the hearing, which attracted intense media attention in Russia.

Elsewhere in Russia, regional lawmakers in Moscow rejected implementing a homophobic censorship law similar to St Petersburg’s.

The bill, which aimed to make “non-traditional sexual orientation propaganda to minors” illegal, was filed with the regional parliament on 16 November by the local Council of Municipal Entities.