Music icon Cher is the latest celebrity to voice opposition against Russia's anti-gay policy. It is no surprise that the 67-year-old singer turned down a chance to perform at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The singer is a gay icon and has always voiced her support for gay rights. As Reuters reports on September 17, Cher said it was a "no-brainer" not to perform in Sochi because of the country's current laws which prohibit gay propaganda.
Cher will join actor Wentworth Miller, and TV host Andy Cohen as celebrities who have turned down personal invitations to visit the country and be a part of events as part of a protest. In contrast, singer Elton John has decided to keep his December concert date in Moscow as his own way to protest the law. But for Cher, she feels she is doing what's in her heart.
She told Reuters:
"It was hard in one way to say 'no,' but in another way, it's a no-brainer. you can't do it. your heart doesn't let you go there."
Not only does Cher have a huge gay following, her son Chaz Bono has undergone gender transition surgery. So for her, performing in Russia, would be performing in a country where people who have followed her and those close to her heart would be silenced by a law that forbids the distribution, expression and support of gay rights.