Madonna hasn't let threats of violence quiet her down.
During her performance in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday night, the singer made a passionate plea for gay rights.
"The gay community here, and all around the world, have the same rights, to be treated with dignity, with respect, with tolerance, with compassion, with love," she said to cheers, after evoking the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The St. Petersburg concert, as well as Tuesday night's Moscow performance, proceeded after warnings from Moscow's U.S. Embassy and St. Petersburg's U.S. Consulate General, which urged U.S. citizens in attendance to "remain vigilant" after the shows received threats of physical violence.
Yet Madonna's fans stood in solidarity with the pop star on Thursday night.
"If you're with me, I want to see your pink arm bands!" she said, referring to wristbands that were distributed to participating fans who wished to support the LGBT community.
"I said, are you motherf***ing with me?" she added.
Madonna then spoke out against using religion to justify intolerance.
"It's in every holy book: love thy neighbor as thyself," she said. "You cannot use religion to treat other people badly. Let's all go out into the world and spread this message of love, and live our lives without fear."
In Moscow, Madonna supported jailed punk musicians Pussy Riot, appearing with the band's name written on her back and telling the audience she'd "pray for them."
The band stood in a contentious trial this week for a public protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin, with a verdict set for next Friday.
Celebrities should simply focus on what they're good at --- entertainment --- and leave all of the political, religious and other self-proselytizing nonsense at home.
Gays don’t have rights, there are civil rights and unalienable rights, that’s it, no mas.
Thanks Madonna, for speaking out for those who are oppressed. Most of the posters here just don't get how courageous it is to put yourself on the line for justice, in a land of oppression and repression like Russia.
They don't understand that you could've been arrested, or worse, shot on stage by pro-Putin forces, for your stance in support of gays and the punk band "pussy riot". Hold your head up, Madonna, and keep doing what you are doing, no matter how many haters shout at you to stop! Let freedom ring!
I don't understand it! Just because someone believes that Marriage is a Holy Sacrament between a Man and a Woman. Most "Religious" people that I know simply disagree with the gay community on this point. Who says that "Religious" people hate gays? Most of the "Religious people I know say they disagree with the lifestyle but would never hate on a person because they are gay. All one has to do is disagree with the gay community and you are immediately black balled as a hater.
This is America and you are entitled to live your life as you see fit who cares! Do your thing have equal rights and all that comes with being legally tied together. But stop trying to strong arm the "Religious" into agreeing with your opinions!! The more you try and force your views down our throats the less compassion I feel for your cause.
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