Russian Selenators have been denied the chance to see Selena Gomez strut in action after her visa was denied today (September 19). The surprising decision — let’s be honest, the Stars Dance diva isn’t pop’s most rebellious figure — is a result of changes to the visa regime for visiting artists following Madonna and Lady Gaga‘s open support for gay rights at concerts last year.
You might remember that Vitaly Milonov, the lawmaker who outlawed “gay propaganda”, recently threatened to prosecute the duo for entering Russia on the wrong visa. That never happened but the nation’s tolerance for known gay rights advocates is at an all-time low.
While Selena isn’t as outspoken as Madonna or Gaga, she is a loyal supporter of the LGBTI community — most recently attending LA Pride as a guest of honor. The 21-year-old was being urged to use her profile to speak up for gay Russians via a Change.org petition.
The organizer of that initiative, John Becker, believes the decision to refuse Selena’s visa proves that Russia is on edge: “This cancellation of Selena Gomez’s visa shows that the Russian government is sensitive and on the defense, and shows that the pressure from people all around the world and the backlash against these laws is strong.”
It’s unfortunate that Russian fans couldn’t experience the magic of Stars Dance live but perhaps the decision will help to publicize the human rights situation in Russia.
Should Sel address the visa issue publicly? Let us know in the comments below.
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