Selena Gomez’s concerts in Russia canceled, reportedly due to anti-gay laws

The singer failed to obtain a visa, which has become harder to do since the nation cracked down on homosexuality

Topics: Russia, LGBT, homohobia, gay propaganda, selena gomez, pop star,

The Moscow Times is reporting that singer Selena Gomez has been forced to cancel two concerts in Russia after “indirectly falling victim to Russia’s anti-gay law.”

In August, Russian authorities accused singers and LGBT-supporters Madonna and Lady Gaga of “promoting gay propaganda,” which is considered to be a violation of the singers’s tourist visas. Russia has since tightened restrictions on visa requirements, and Gomez reportedly failed to obtain a valid visa before her concert.

Russia’s stance on homosexuality isn’t just making it tougher for outsiders to perform — it’s also making LGBT allies wary of performing there. LGBT icon, Cher, for example, recently declined an invitation to perform at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Gomez, too, faced pressure to take a stand against the country’s draconian anti-gay laws. A Change.org petition with 10,000 signatures asked the star to “Speak Out For Equality.”

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Singer Elton John, however, announced that he’s “got to go” to Russia to support the gay people in Russia who are otherwise abandoned. “There’s two avenues of thought: do you stop everyone going, ban all the artists coming in from Russia? But then you’re really leaving the men and women who are gay and suffering under the anti-gay laws in an isolated situation,” he stated. “As a gay man, I can’t leave those people on their own without going over there and supporting them. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to go.”

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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