Selena Gomez Denied Entry Into Russia Reportedly Over Gay Rights Stance
Selena Gomez was supposed to perform two concerts in Russia during her "Stars Dance" tour but was reportedly denied entry. The country has a strict anti-homosexual law, and Gomez supports gay rights.
President Vladimir Putin signed a law in June that prohibits any "propaganda" that promotes "non-traditional sexual relations." This law has resulted in the arrests of several lesbian and gay activists.
The law was enacted to promote traditional Russian values instead of Western liberalism, which the Russian Orthodox Church considers a corrupting influence on the country's youth.
Gay rights activist John Becker, who started a Change.org campaign called "Selena Gomez: Speak Out For Equality in Moscow and St. Petersburg," asked the pop star to champion the gay community and thinks Russia denied her entry to avoid embarrassment.
Becker told E! News: "This cancellation of Selena Gomez's visa shows that the Russian government is sensitive and on the defense, and shows that the pressure from people all around the world and the backlash against these laws is strong. They're afraid to have someone like Selena Gomez come in and potentially use her platform to advance LGBT rights."
Gomez was scheduled to perform at the Ice Palace in Saint Petersburg on September 23 and in the Russian capital Moscow two days later.
Stars including Lady Gaga, Madonna and Cher have been outspoken on the treatment of the homosexuality community in Russia.