Selena Gomez reportedly denied Russian visa over LGBT issues
Selena Gomez has canceled a series of her concerts in Eastern Europe after reportedly being denied a visa by Russia.
The pop star/actress had to cancel concerts in Belarus set for Friday and additional stops in Ukraine and the entire Russian leg of her “Star Dance” tour, according to Billboard.
It is unclear if the cancellations in Belarus and Ukraine were related to the visa; however, Gomez’s rep confirmed to E! News that she’d no longer be visiting Russia for concert stops in St. Petersburg on Monday and Moscow on Wednesday.
The concert dates have been removed from her tour website, which now indicates that her next performance will be in Dubai on Sept. 27.
Promoters for the Russian concerts told the Moscow Times that the “Come & Get It” singer was denied her visa request and organizers believe it’s because of Russia’s anti-gay laws, which limit travel and bar “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships” to minors.
The handful of anti-LGBT laws were signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in July and ban adoption by gay couples or people who live in countries that have any kind of same-sex marriage equality; outlaw discussion of homosexuality or gay rights where children might hear it; and allow for the arrest and detention of gay or “pro-gay” foreign visitors for up to two weeks before ejection from the country.
The moves come in response to Madonna and Lady Gaga’s visits to Russia last year in which they openly supported the nation’s gay communities, RIA Novosti reported (via the Moscow Times).
Prior to the concert cancellations, a petition on Change.org was launched by John Becker for Gomez to also “stand up for Russia’s LGBT community” while there. The site has since been updated with news of the cancellations and more than 13,800 people have signed the online petition.
“Russian officials are undoubtedly anxious to avoid a repeat of recent concerts by fellow pop superstars Madonna and Lady Gaga, both of whom violated laws banning so-called ‘gay propaganda’ by making statements in favor of LGBT rights,” Becker wrote on Belerico.com on Thursday.
“The Russian government is clearly on edge and aware of the bruising its reputation has taken in the wake of their anti-LGBT crackdown,” he said.
Several stars have recently protested the country’s “crackdown.” “Prison Break” star Wentworth Miller declared his homosexuality after being invited to a film festival in St. Petersburg. He declined the invitation and openly revealed that he was gay, saying that the county’s anti-gay “situation is in no way acceptable.”
Openly gay Bravo honcho Andy Cohen took a stance against Russia’s “discriminatory policies” last month when he declined his usual post as Miss Universe pageant host because the event is set to take place in Russia this year. The new policies, he said, “make it unsafe for the gays who live there and gays coming to work or visit.”
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