Selena Gomez had to cancel a string of European concerts due to conflicts with obtaining a Russian visa. The 21-year-old singer will not be performing at any of the Russian venues previously considered nor will she sing in Belarus and Ukraine. Though she was expected in St. Petersburg and Moscow, both performances have been cancelled as a result of complications stemming from obtaining a visa in lieu of recent anti-gay laws.
Last year, Madonna and Lady Gaga used their performances at Russian concert halls to promote gay rights. Madonna distributed pink ribbons to her concert-goers as a symbol of support for gay pride while Lady Gaga said, "You can be gay in my house," to those in attendance at her concert.
A representative for Russian Entertainment Academy, who was responsible for organizing the concert, shared the following comment. "Up to the last moment, we thought the problem would be resolved, but it turned out that things aren't so simple in our country," the statement read.
John Becker is the man responsible for starting a petition through Change.org to encourage standing up for the rights of the Russian LGBT community members. He wrote the following on Belerico.com in order to further promote the cause. "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. 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 shared on the website.
Reports claim that Selena Gomez was spotted earlier this year at a Los Angeles gay pride festival; however, organizers of the Russian concerts are unlikely to have known about this. Selena appears to have enjoyed her performances even though she was unable to perform in Russia.
[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]
I had so much fun hangin w/you Europe, what a great way to leave being nominated for best female. All because of you http://t.co/S3V8TWZ99v
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) September 18, 2013