Tags: selena gomez | denied | russia | visa | anti-gay

Selena Gomez Denied Russian Visa Over Anti-Gay Laws, Cancels Shows: Report

By    |   Friday, 20 September 2013 08:24 AM

Pop singer Selena Gomez has been denied a visa in Russia, forcing her to cancel concerts, because of the nation’s anti-gay laws.

The Moscow Times reported that Gomez, 21, was set to sing at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg on Sept. 23 and at the venue the Olimpiisky in Moscow in Sept. 25, as well as Kiev, Ukraine on Saturday. Those dates no longer appear on the star's concert schedule on her website.

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The visa denial was a result of Russia's crackdown on foreign musicians in response to Madonna and Lady Gaga, who publicly voiced their support for gay rights during shows last year, organizers told the Russian-language newspaper RIA Novosti, according to the Moscow Times.

Yevgeny Finkelshtein, head of the Petersburg Music Industry company, told RIA Novosti that he believes the Gomez situation will drive other artists away from performing in the country.

"Not a single person is going to visit us if the Prosecutor General's Office starts disputing something or looking for guilty parties," Finkelshtein said to RIA Novosti.

This summer Russia implemented a wave of anti-gay laws that touches on everything from the adoption of children to the conduct of athletes at the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

The New York Times reported in June that Putin signed into law what critics have called a "broad and vague" statute that labeled "homosexual propaganda" as pornography. The law stated that adults could be arrested and fined for making pro-gay statements to underage children. 

Putin also signed a law that allows law enforcement to detain tourists and foreign nationals they suspect of being homosexual, lesbian or "pro-gay" and hold them for up to 14 days.

The news has led the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, to issue a statement that it would support gay athletes in Russia.

While the statement said the IOC supports gay rights, the agency did not guarantee that gay athletes would not be detained or face charges just for being gay. 

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Pop singer Selena Gomez has been denied a visa in Russia, forcing her to cancel concerts, because of the nation’s anti-gay laws.
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Friday, 20 September 2013 08:24 AM
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