Due to issues obtaining a VISA, singer Selena Gomez has cancelled her upcoming concerts in Russia. The singer was set to perform in both Moscow and St. Petersburg next week, but will not be holding either concert as she was denied a VISA.
The official reason for her VISA denial has not yet been released, but many believe it is due to other pop stars using their concerts as a venue for LGBT advocacy.
"The situation is a result of the scandals over the Madonna, Lady Gaga and Bloodhound Gang concerts, after which the Russian authorities changed procedures for issuing visas to foreign musical and artistic groups," the concert promoters, the Russian Entertainment Academy told Reuters.
The scandals the Russian Entertainment Academy is referring to involve Madonna and Lady Gaga allegedly violating the terms of their VISAs by breaking Russia's law that gay propaganda cannot be promoted, according to the Huffington Post.
It was not clear if Gomez was planning to use her concerts to speak on LBGT issues or not, but there was potential for it. Gomez openly supports gay marriage, according to USA today. Furthermore, Change.org was circulating a petition asking Gomez to advocate for homosexuality prior to her VISA being denied.
John Becker, the man who authored the petition, wrote a statement after Selena Gomez's VISA was denied.
"This cancellation of Selena Gomez's visa shows that the Russian government is sensitive and on the defense, and shows that the pressure from people all around the world and the backlash against these laws is strong. They're afraid to have someone like Selena Gomez come in and potentially use her platform to advance LGBT rights," Becker said in his statement.