Selena Gomez planned to perform in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sept. 23 and in Moscow on Sept. 25, but was forced to cancel the tour stops after Russia denied her a work Visa – possibly because of her stance on LGBT rights.

Concert organizers believe that since Gomez has openly stated her support for LGBT rights, Russia barred her from entering the country on the basis of their controversial new anti-gay law. The law condemns and makes punishable by law “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships.”

“Until recently, we thought that the problem was solved, but it turned out not to be so simple in our country,” the organizers told RIA Novosit. The problem is not us, the problem is in the [bureaucracy].”

It is believed that Russia has resolved itself to be increasingly selective in regard to which performers they’ll allow to pass through due to Lady Gaga and Madonna’s 2012 performances there. “Tonight, this is my house Russia,” Lady Gaga had said onstage. “You can be gay in my house." Madonna, echoed her sentiments, saying, “Gay people here and all around the world have the same rights,” during her tour stop.


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Both pop stars are reportedly facing prosecution in Russia for allegedly violating their visas during their respective concerts, reported ABC News. Their offense, according to Russian authorities, was spreading “gay propaganda.”

Activist John Becker believes that now is Gomez’s time to take a firmer stance against Russia’s anti-gay law. Becker, prior to news of the visa denial, had launched a petition on to appeal to the former Disney star. “By speaking out, Selena can let LGBT folks in Russia know that we stand with them, and that they are not alone,” he had written. And now, Becker believes that the Russian government is on the defense against those who might speak out against their laws.

In addition to cancelling the Russia stops, Gomez’s concerts in Belarus on Friday and Kiev, Ukraine, on Sept. 21 have also been canceled. A rep for the singer confirmed the cancellations to E! News.

– Chelsea Regan

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