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Madonna to challenge anti-gay law in Russia concert

Lawmakers in St. Petersburg, Russia, have moved to ban people from “activities promoting homosexuality” to minors and to curb gay rights “propaganda." But expect Madonna to promote gay rights and challenge the measure at her summer concert in the city.

In an exclusive with Bloomberg News, Madonna says when she performs in St. Petersburg on Aug. 9 she’ll challenge the law signed by St. Petersburg Gov. Georgy Poltavchenko on March 7.

The new law defines “propaganda” as “the intentional and unregulated distribution in a publicly accessible manner of information that can harm the health or the process of moral and spiritual development of minors, including forming among them the false perception that traditional and nontraditional relationships are socially equal.”

“I don’t run away from adversity,” Madonna told Bloomberg this week. “I will speak during my show about this ridiculous atrocity.”

Some LGBT activists have called on tourists and celebrities to boycott St. Petersburg, Russia’s second-largest city.

To date, a boycott hasn’t gained widespread support. A petition created in early March had just 31 signatures as of March 21.

Madonna said she will perform, and she will “speak up for the gay community and to give strength and inspiration to anyone who is or feels oppressed. I’m a freedom fighter.”

Her 2012 tour will begin in Israel in May, will play in 26 European cities and then begin a 26-show schedule in the United States in August.

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