Selena Gomez was just denied a visa to to perform in Russia, reportedly because of fears she would speak out in favor of gay rights. Organizers of the two planned concerts cited Russia's new anti-gay law as one of the reasons for Selena's visa rejection, according to E! News on Sept. 19. Gomez had been slated to perform at St. Petersburg's Ice Palace on Sept. 23, and at Moscow's Olimpiisky stadium on Sept. 25.
Promoters for the pair of concerts that were scheduled in the country for later this month, told The Moscow Times that Russian officials have turned down her visa request, forcing her to cancel the gigs.
Organizers say Russian authorities have been tightening travel restrictions for performers who speak out in favor of gay rights. Selena, 21, may have been the indirect victim of a pair of other music icons.
Apparently Russian officials have tightened the visa regime for foreign musicians in response to Lady Gaga and Madonna's decisions to openly support gays during their shows in Russia last year.
The visa denial comes on the heels of the Material Girl and Mother Monster's very public support of the LGBT community during their 2012 shows in Russia.
The government there subsequently threatened both artists with potential prosecution, for allegedly failing to obtain the appropriate visas to enter and perform in the country.
Russian conservatives have attempted to file lawsuits against U.S. singers under the umbrella of their recently adopted, controversial and vaguely worded law banning the promotion of "nontraditional sexual relationships" to minors.
News that Russian officials turned down Justin Bieber's ex is no doubt disappointing to her fans in the former communist nation.
Some believe this preemptive strike is a sign that Russia, and Vladimir Putin in particular, may be feeling the heat over their anti-gay policies.