St. Petersburg gays to challenge Madonna with choice

Activists from an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) organization Ravnopraviye (Equality) will hold protests against the hypocrisy of show business on the eve of Madonna's concert in St. Petersburg, the organization's spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Celebrities use human rights slogans to draw attention to their shows, the spokesperson said. "Making business from human rights is unacceptable," Ravnopraviye said.

LGBT activists will stage lone protests with bright placards outside the concert hall prior to Madonna's performance "to declare the unacceptability of using human rights slogans for the sake of business interests and creating hype around their shows," the spokesperson said.

"With their placards activists will tell Madonna, 'Choose! Bread and games or human rights!" the statement said.

"For our protest on the eve of Madonna's performance we are choosing a format that does not require the authorities' permission because in spite of the law, Russian officials have perverted its essence, having turned the process of applying (for a public gathering permit) into a merciful permission," the organization's head, Yury Gavrikov, was quoted as saying.

Madonna is due to perform in St. Petersburg on August 9.

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