Selena Gomez’s Visa Denied By Russia—reportedly Over Gay Rights Stance

19, 2013 10:45 AM PDT Loading… Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images If Selena Gomez wants to perform in Russia, she might try pulling an Edward Snowden because that may be the only way she’s likely to gain entry. Promoters for a pair of concerts the “Come & Get It” crooner had scheduled in the country for later this month have told The Moscow Times that Russian officials have turned down her visa request, forcing her to scrap the gigs. Organizers cited Russia’s new anti-gay law as one of the reasons for Gomez’s rejection, since Russian authorities have been tightening travel restrictions for performers who speak out in favor of gay rights. The 21-year-old singer-actress was supposed to play St. Petersburg’s Ice Palace on Sept. 23 and Moscow’s Olimiisky stadium on Sept. 25. A rep for Gomez now tells E! News she’s not going to Russia. The news that Russian officials rebuffed Justin Bieber ‘s ex is no doubt disappointing to her fans in the former communist nation.

Sochi, Russia, host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics, is a very unusual place

But you never know. PHOTO/ MIKHAIL MORDASOV Source: AFP THERE has been plenty of talk lately about next February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Concerns over security and Russia’s anti-gay law are just two issues which have hogged the headlines. These are important issues, and these Olympics could be the most controversial in years. But for now, allow us to paint a different picture of Sochi. The city of 340,000 in Russia’s south is the childhood home of tennis ace Maria Sharapova and countless other leggy blondes. Not that anyone notices. They’re much too busy fishing. Catch of the day. Source: Supplied It’s now early autumn in Russia. But it’s still nice and warm in Sochi, and the pebbly beaches on the Black Sea shore are alive with young people enjoying the balmy air and a tall tale or two from President Vladimir Putin, who broke with tradition and wore a shirt on this rare occasion. So then I said to Obama Ill show you how a real leader handles a war-torn nation like Syria. Source: Supplied Not that the sea is always calm in Sochi. Frequent storms can occur in winter, when the Games will be held. That umbrella may not be quite big enough, kid.

Russia: What It Means

If you’re Russian. Individuals engaging in such propaganda can be fined 4,000 to 5,000 rubles (120-150 USD), public officials are subject to fines of 40,000 to 50,000 rubles (1,200-1,500 USD), and registered organizations can be either fined (800,000-1,000,000 rubles or 24,000-30,000 USD) or sanctioned to stop operations for 90 days. If you engage in the said propaganda in the media or on the internet, the sliding scale of fines shifts: for individuals, 50,000 to 100,000 rubles; for public officials, 100,000 to 200,000 rubles, and for organizations, from one million rubles or a 90-day suspension. If you’re an alien. Foreign citizens or stateless persons engaging in propaganda are subject to a fine of 4,000 to 5,000 rubles, or they can be deported from the Russian Federation and/or serve 15 days in jail. If a foreigner uses the media or the internet to engage in propaganda, the fines increase to 50,000-100,000 rubles or a 15-day detention with subsequent deportation from Russia. If you thought the wording was a little vague, Grekov agrees. Because the law is spelled out so broadly as to what counts as “propaganda,” literally anything that’s even the remotest positive or even neutral reference to homosexuality is suspect. It could be two women holding hands as much as it could be a debate on the relationship between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion. Paintings of Jupiter abducting Ganymede could be seen as corrupting. And don’t think for a second that foreigners are exempt. No matter whether you agree with it or not, a visitor is always subject to the laws of the country he or she is in, be it Russia or the United States. To prove the point, Russian authorities already incarcerated three Dutch tourists in the Arctic city of Murmansk who were making a documentary on LGBTQ rights in Russia. They found out quick, needless to say. Of course, this has castigated Russia by press both inside and out.