Madonna spoke out for gay rights at a Thursday concert in St. Petersburg, defying city authorities who had threatened to fine the pop star.

“We want to fight for the right to be free,” she told the audience, most of whom were wearing pink wristbands distributed at the door. Madonna urged them to “show your love and appreciation to the gay community.”

Earlier this year, city leaders approved a law which criminalizes “public actions aimed at propaganda of pederasty, lesbianism, bisexuality and transgenderism among minors.”

St. Petersburg Assemblymember Vitaly Milonov, the bill's author, reportedly told the Interfax news agency that the gay icon would be punished if she violated the law.

“Do we live in fear?” Madonna asked the audience, who replied: “No!” (Video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Andre Banks, executive director of, praised Madonna for making a statement: “Madonna has been a stalwart supporter of LGBT rights and activist for artistic expression for nearly 30 years. Today, however, she gave one of her most provocative performances in her history – and the history of the Russian Federation – in the name of freedom and in the name of love … and for Madonna, that’s saying something.”

Local gay rights activists Polina Savchenko celebrated Madonna's “courage to stand up to St. Petersburg's outrageous and homophobic censorship law.”

According to Reuters, 74 people have been fined for violating the law since it went into effect in March.