(Album and World Tour)
“I’M HERE to say that the gay community, and gay people, here and all around the world have the same rights. The same rights to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love.” Those words, spoken by the pop titan Madonna, on stage last August in St. Petersburg, were something of a shot heard ’round the world. Aimed at a municipal law passed in Russia in 2012 to outlaw the advocacy of homosexuality among children, Madonna’s act of civil disobedience was as risky as it was courageous. Antigay groups sought $10.7 million in damages before a judge finally dismissed the lawsuit. That didn’t stop the singer and self-proclaimed performance artist from supporting a Russian punk band called Pussy Riot whose three members, all women, are currently in prison for performing in an Orthodox cathedral. She sold their T-shirts around the globe and, in America’s more conservative cities, drew fire for wearing an Obama lower-back tattoo.