‘Sassy’ St. Petersburg Judge Throws Out Madonna Case

Madonna at a concert in St. Petersburg in August 2012. Source: ITAR-TASSWhen pop superstar Madonna staged a concert in St. Petersburg this past summer, the Russian media was in a frenzy most of all over her support of three jailed women from the punk group Pussy Riot. Less attention was paid to threats that Madonna would be sued under the city’s controversial new law against “homosexual propaganda” which came into effect last March. On Thursday, that case finally went to trial, and was thrown out by the presiding judge. The plaintiffs, who were suing the superstar for $10.7 million, have the right to appeal. However, if the live blog of the trial texted by the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) is any indication, it’s unlikely that any judge will want a second trial to drag on for very long. Here are some excerpts from the blog, which truly defies parody:

12:45 Good morning and welcome to RAPSI’s live broadcast of the drama brewing in St. Petersburg between nine of the city’s most avid anti-gay activists and American pop diva Madonna. With you this morning are Ingrid Burke and Vladimir Yaduta.

12:59 There’s space in the courtroom for 6 people. Maybe 7 if we get really cozy. This is going to be interesting, maybe less of a battle than an all-out-war. Some extra benches and chairs were brought into the courtroom which is the size of a walk-in closet.

13:22 Actually, there’s no Madonna in the courtroom, but neither the claimants, nor those on the defendant’s side have any objections. It’s still unknown whether Madonna was served with the claim form.

13:53 Meanwhile, the aggrieved party is lamenting that Madonna’s violations threaten to unhinge Russian social order. From his words, a public, thoroughly planned performance affected the childbearing rates as Russia’s youth after Madonna’s words will be more interested in filth than family building. The country’s going to loose its defense capacity as a result.

14:54 One of the guys on the defense side of the table is laughing and shaking his head.

14:58 Darya Dedova, who represents the plaintiffs, takes the floor. She says the aggrieved party is upset by the refusal to launch a criminal case over the Madonna’s show law infringements. It’s incredible to equal the traditional sexual relations to lesbian relations and sodomy, Dedova says. She stresses that children in the West become a neuter gender.

15:06 Dedova is deeply concerned that the defendants feel absolutely calm about their impunity. She is confident the defendants should bear all the responsibility for the rights for social order abuse.

15:34 Another aggrieved party representative complains about the poor conditions in Europe, especially in those countries where same-sex marriage is legalized. He blames ‘such as Madonna’ for that.

15:39 The judge asks the aggrieved parties if they are concerned with the Oliver Stone film about Alexander Makedonsky because of some scenes deemed defying.

15:43 One of the aggrieved party representatives says that Madonna was more provocative. He seems to be totally confused and says it’s time to change the Constitution. He feels uncomfortable about the fact that international agreemnets prevail over national law.

15:48 The judge asks Dedova if she ever attended the gay pride parades. She got confused and then replied that she is not against the homosexuality as itself.

15:53 Irina Gizatulina, another aggrieved party representative, is now testifying. She says that it’s very important for the government to protect society from gay propaganda. Her underaged brother accidentally watched Madonna’s show in some social networks.

15:58 Vitaly Orlovsky, another aggrieved party representative, says that the defendants’ actions affect the traditional families and lead to divorces. The judge has been getting increasingly sassy with the aggrieved parties. He is curious why the claim is lodged against Madonna alone.

16:05 The judge is asking for a statistical analysis of the number of divorces caused by homosexuality vs. those caused by alcoholism. Orlovsky replies that medical evidence shows there’re at about 0.01% gays among men.

16:41 Wikipedia entry on LGBT community and its symbols is among the evidence. The claimants’ representative notes that quite a lot of people attended the show with rainbow flags showing their support to LGBT community.

16:48 The defendant’s side wonders if Wikipedia might be considered a reliable source of information. One of the defense attorneys questions the legitimacy of Wikipedia as a source. , based on its open source nature.

17:07 The aggrieved parties are now showing a news article on the show and a photo depicting a topless white cartoon man making out with a topless black cartoon man. Daria Dedova is upset that putting man-on-man cartoon action next to that of woman-on-man makes gay seem normal.

17:13 The judge is puzzled. Why doesn’t it bother you when men hug while celebrating Navy Day, the judge asks.

17:35 Another dispute breaks out between the parties. Dedova turns out to be an activist of the public organization standing for the city of Volgograd to be renamed to Stalingrad. Defense side counsel advises Dedova to go even further and to change the photos of Stalin with the photos of Hitler.

Read the full transcript on RAPSI’s website here.