Russian court throws out Madonna anti-gay compensation claim

Reuters Middle East

ST.PETERSBURG, Russia, Nov 22 (Reuters) - A Russian court

rejected a $10 million compensation claim against U.S. pop star

Madonna on Thursday by a group of anti-gay activists who accused

her hurting their feelings by promoting homosexuality at a

St.Petersburg concert.

Performing in black lingerie with the words "No Fear"

scrawled on her back, Madonna attacked a city law adopted in

March that imposed fines for spreading homosexual "propaganda".

She had earlier called the law a "ridiculous atrocity".

The activists based their case on a video recording where

they claimed Madonna could be seen trampling on an Orthodox

cross and asking spectators to raise their hands with pink

bracelets in support of the gay movement.

Judge Vitaly Barkovsky did not explain his decision but also

ruled the activists should compensate legal expenses to

companies which organised Madonna's concert. The activists said

they will appeal the court ruling.

"Our position is the same. We believe there was a case of

the breach of law, namely gay propaganda among minors," said

activist Darya Dedova.

Homosexuality, punished with jail terms in the Soviet Union,

was decriminalised in Russia in 1993, but much of the gay

community remains underground as prejudice runs deep.

(Reporting by Liza Dobkina; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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