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VIDEO: Bucharest crowd boo Madonna’s defence of gays and Roma

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  1. Funny how expansions is now more important to the EU now
    It doesn’t seem important that the laws they pass on discrimination won’t work at all in places like romania any time soon

  2. Brian Burton 28 Aug 2009, 12:57pm

    Homophobic BOOing dose not last but words of encouragement do from the famouse.

  3. The same story on several general news sites mentions her championing ‘Romas’ but ignores the bit about gays. Don’t you just love media bias!

  4. Well Rose considering that Roma face FAR worse discrimination than gay people in Romania I think that’s to be expected.

  5. THANKYOU MADONNA!

  6. I didn’t hear that much of a booing, when I read the news I imagined something more general and drastic. Nice to see that it wasn’t the case, even though I know that Romania is in general homophobic and racist.

  7. Now watched the video. Ok, the sound quality isn’t perfect, but it sounded like many people also cheered and clapped.

    Romania still has a lot of work to do on gay equality, though. We need to start becoming tougher on these countries who are in, or wanting to be in, the EU, and making it a strong condition of membership that there is full equality for gay people.

  8. She’s Europe’s problem now. Since American has readily disavowed any connection with her, except in the most culturally-depraved circles. She simply doesn’t hold our interest now that she has become the very thing she railed so emphatically against for years. She’s rapidly approaching Cher-dumb…I mean Cher-dom. Wait, no I don’t.

  9. Yes I heard plenty of clapping and cheering too… and yet the headline is all about the booing? How does this sound? Bucharest crowd cheer and clap Madonna’s defence of Gays and Romas…now that really would p*** the bigots off.

    LGBT people like those in Moldova or Ukraine or Belarus would love to have the benefits of EU membership and the protection of these employment laws… OK it doesnt solve things overnight but it does give people the tools with which they can *begin* to defend themselves. It is a process and a process those of us in the UK started a lot sooner, in 1989 the Uk was only just beginning to have half sensible discussions, in 1989, Romania was struggling to overthrow Ceauscescu only getting rid of him in Dec 1989. Sure it takes time but at least the process has started and EU membership meant they had to get rid of other laws that were highly detrimental to LGBT people. EU membership is one thing but European law derives from membership of Council of Europe but EU membership forces more changes.

  10. Jean-Paul Bentham 29 Aug 2009, 3:53am

    The truth is Madonna, Cher, Bette Midler, Judy Garland and many others are DIVAS; they will always be DIVAS; and they are using their fame to promote justice and a better world for all.

    Thank You Madonna.

  11. Thank you very much Madonna

  12. Just shut the F up Madonna! When you will live near gipsyes you will understand why the people booed you.

  13. Stuart Neyton 31 Aug 2009, 7:14pm

    SBV82, what an ignorant comment. I’d rather live near a gypsy than near you.

  14. @ Stuart Neyton

    I sincerily believe that the only ignorant around is you. People such as yourself know nothing about eastern Europe, or about what those “poor” “innocent” “discriminated” gipsyes, are doing to the people of Romania. In fact the only discrimination that we can talk about is the one directed by the gipsyes against the Romanian people. You know nothing about what we have to put up from those gipsy savages, they think they own the place. I bet you haven’t met a gipsy in your life and if that is the case I politely ask you to SHUT UP.
    The gays should not be lumped together with the gipsyes, because gay and bisexual people are decent civilised people while the gipsyes are, for the most part, criminals that are incapable to live in a civilised society. If the gipsyes want respect they should learn first to respect others themselves. They should also learn to wash themselves and stop being criminals and murderers. In short they should learn to behave like normal people not like beasts with human faces.

  15. Jean-Paul Bentham 31 Aug 2009, 11:06pm

    SBV82:

    Excuse me, but I believe that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights gives both you and Stuart Neyton the right to Free Speech.

    In this day and age, only tyrants will tell others to SHUT UP; personally I encourage you both to SPEAK UP, but I do wish you would take an example from Stuart Neyton and tone down with all due respect for others (moi).

    By the way, my niece is married to an electrical engineer from eastern Europe. I like him.

    You could spend your time better by improving your health care system…you know, the milk of human kindness.

    THANK YOU MADONNA !

  16. @ Jean-Paul Bentham

    I never denied his right to free speech, I couldn’t, it is against my principles. I just said that like most people in the west he is oblivious about a lot of things that hapen in this part of the continent, and it is my belief that if youre ignorant about something you should just abstain from comments.
    The gipsy problem is indeed a problem of discrimination, that is, gipsy discrimination against everyone else. I just like it how some people say “look at those poor gipsyes that have no opportunity in life”, but those people fail to realise that the gipsyes really don’t want to live in a diffrent way, they are complecent in their life of crime. I’m sorry but this is the truth. I am not a racist but when you live near gipsyes as much as I did you start to realise that there is no way in hell they will ever change.
    I invite the people that cry all day long about the gipsyes to come to Romania and ask any person on the street what they think of gipsyes, I could bet that 90% of them will have a negative opinion. Why is that you ask? It is because most people in my country have suffered because of the gipsyes at least once in their life and that is just the way it is.

  17. SBV82, what an ignorant fool you are! Throughout all my childhood I lived in a town in Latvia which has one of the country’s largest communities of gypsies. I also grew up with all the prejudice people had against them. In Latvia the prejudice has never been as strong as in, say, Romania though. Yes, many of them failed to see they had any other options but to live in their closely-knit community and get by through petty theft, cons etc. But it was (and still is in many parts of the world) directly a result of being treated as hated outsiders for centuries. What do you do if nobody will give you work and you don’t have any means of survival? Just like Jews ended up being jewel merchants and money lenders in many parts of Europe because they weren’t allowed to do any other work. But that, of course, only led to all the myths about the “blood-sucking Jews” sitting on all the money which only “confirmed” all the other prejudice that people had against them.

    Don’t you see a connection here? Hate leads to more hate. And yes, giving all people equal opportunities works. In today’s Latvia and other countries with gypsy populations, which at least are trying to do something about the discrimination against them, you will see that many of them have a higher education and well-paid regular jobs but those who succeed often have to hide their ethnincity, simply because hateful bigots like you would never employ them, no matter how highly skilled and professional they are!

    Shame on you!

  18. @ andvis

    Don’t try to make me look like a bigot because I am anything but that. I never judge people by the color of their skin, however that doesn’t mean that I will keep my silence when I see a lot of people talking about a subject that they are, for the most part, ignorant about.
    Now look, I appreciate your idealism (you must be very young) and I won’t pretend that I know how the gypsies from your country behave, I can only talk about what I saw and see everyday on the streets of Romania and what I see is that the situation is getting from bad to worse. Now, you talk about opportunities, well let me tell you that the Romanian government is trying its best to integrate them into society but like always they resist. Now that can’t be anyone else’s fault but theirs don’t you think?
    Now let me give you an example of the kind of activities the gypsies involve themselves into. In the city of Timisoara, an old historic town of Romania the gypsies have started to steal entire houses by forcing the occupants to live them through terror. In this manner a few gipsy clans have managed to gain control over two streets full of houses. Where is the police you ask? Well the police looks the other way since the gipsy mafia have infiltrated the police and even the local administration and so the people get left in the street and don’t even dare to say anything because the gypsies threat to kill them if they don’t shut up. So, what do you say about this? Do you still ask yourself why the people booed Madonna? I had members of my family being robbed and attacked by gypsies, so don’t tell me to be ashamed because I have no reason to be ashamed for telling the truth.
    The fact is that if the gypsies don’t start to behave like civilized people, there will be no understanding for them from anyone, ever and to be sincere I see no change in sight.

  19. paul canning 1 Sep 2009, 6:06pm

    We have the same bigotry towards Roma in the UK – people all lumped together as one homogeneous mass and not treated as individual human beings. Eastern Europe has historically treated Jews and Roma badly. You just have to look at World War II. Since you’re there is this history taught SBV82? Are people aware of their ancestors participation in the holocaust against these groups?

  20. @ paul canning

    Ok, I observe that in the west political corectness has made you all blind to logical arguments.
    No doubt that in the past there were injustices comited against minority groups, I won’t deny that, but that doesn’t excuse in any way the present behaviour of the gypsies, I hope you agree with me on that. This has nothing to do with racism but has everything to do with behaviour. I could care less if the gypsies were white, green, blue or yelow with red dots, but what I do care about is their criminal and anti-social atitudes which are shared not by a small minority among them but by the MAJORITY. And this is precisely the problem at hand, the fact that the vast majority among them are criminals with a very small minority o decent people (which I don’t deny that exists), but you know, here in Romania we have a saying: “You can’t bring spring with only one flower”.

  21. I suggest reading “Bury Me Standing” by Isabel Fonseca, published by Vintage, for those of us who would like a better understanding of the Roma people’s transit into Europe. Remembering too why they were called tinkers, mending pots and pans and baskets as they travelled before we became the “disposable” society, throwing something into landfill as soon as it hinted at being broken. No easy answers in an over populated Europe. Good on Madonna despite her tendency to self promotion and wacky causes.

  22. While I appreciate the horrible discrimination faced by Roma in Romania, I do wonder about the Roma in the UK. The UK is an island so presumably the Roma living here had thewherwithal to arrive by plane. How come the ONLY Roma I see are the women using their children for begging and pickpocketing?

    If they came to Britain for a better life then, they don’t seem to be availing of the opportunity. Fair enough they may not have high standards of education but they seem to think it is acceptable to harasss people for money and to steal from them.

    In the Netherlands (another country where the Roma are very new arrivals) estimates that 25% of Roma boys under 18 have a criminal record (as opposed to 2% of Dutch boys under 18).

    Roma deserve equal rights for sure. But until they accept equal responsibility (especially in countries where they have just arrived) then I have little sympathy for their plight.

    I have nothing against Roma as individuals but the extremely negative image portrayed by the visible members of their community (the begging women and children) and the very high crime levels within that community would mean that I would not be best pleased if they moved in next door to me.

    Maybe that’s discriminatory but it’s based on the entirely negative experiences I’ve had with the Roma

  23. @ Vince

    You were right on track with everything you said.
    Finally! A person that uses logic. Good for you.

  24. Stuart Neyton 2 Sep 2009, 4:16pm

    “I bet you haven’t met a gipsy in your life”

    I’ve never met a Roma/Gypsy but if i’m allowed to lump Irish traveller Gypsies in then yes i’ve met hundreds. They run most of the temporary fair grounds in Britain. Given the sweeping generalisations you’ve made about these communities I thought I would also generalise.

    Most of the far right in Eastern Europe advocate a “final solution” to the gypsy “problem”. Please explain what this means because it sounds like another holocaust to me.

    I don’t care if there are individual gypsies you dislike for whatever reason. What I hate is stereotyping an entire group of people for whatever reason. Yes there are certainly gypsies who steal, are rude and don’t pay tax but it’s not every single one of them.

  25. Stuart Neyton 2 Sep 2009, 4:27pm

    “In the Netherlands (another country where the Roma are very new arrivals) estimates that 25% of Roma boys under 18 have a criminal record (as opposed to 2% of Dutch boys under 18).”

    I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, try asking why that is rather than using it as evidence to suggest that *all* Roma people are bad. The reason why many people turn to crime is usually poverty, caused by a lack of education, ghettoising by others in the community, poor standard of living among other things. They didn’t turn to crime simply because they were gypsies. I also think there’s an inherent streak of racism plaguing all police forces right across Europe so I don’t believe the level of criminal activity among the “native” Dutch young boys is anywhere near as low as 2%.

  26. @ Stuart Neyton

    I would advise you against comparing the Irish Travellers to the real gypsies that exist in Eastern Europe. From what I read the Travellers are only distantly related with the gypsies so the comparison cannot be made. The gypsies that I’m talking about are the kind of people that you don’t want to meet with on a dark alley. Everyday in Romania we listen to news such as these: “Drunk gipsy kills innocent bystander” or “Band of gypsies brake into a house kills the husband and child and rapes the wife” or “Old woman raped by two gypsies after they robbed the house” etc., and everyday is the same ALL OVER ROMANIA. You try to make it sound like the criminals among the gypsies are the exception while the sad truth is that rather then the exception, criminality and antisocial behaviour is the rule inside the gipsy community. There is no stereotyping here, it is only day to day (sad) reality.
    As for the far right, I am not the person you should ask since I am totally opposed to this kind of politics, but from what I know, the only party in Romania that could be described as far right, the Great Romania Party has never called for any kind of “holocaust” against the gypsies, they only asked them what everyone in Romania is asking them for a long while: “When are you finally going to behave like normal civilized people and stop being robbers and murderers?” Sadly we haven’t received any answer yet.

  27. Stuart – effectively you are trying to absolve the Roma of any responsibility for their own reputation. It is a proven statistic that the percentages of Roma convicted of crimes is waaaaay higher than the population at large. I agree that there is a valid excuse for this in places like Romania; Bulgaria; Hungary etc where they face institutional discrimination.

    That does not wash as an excuse in the Netherlands or UK. In those countries they are a recently arrived immigrant group. BUt they still seem to be engaged in begging and petty crime to make their living. I do not think that because Romania treats the Roma badly that they are allowed to harass people for money in the UK or engage in pickpocketing. Why don’t they get a job?

    They should not face discrimination OK. But when they create such a bad image of their community through their own criminal activities then they have to accept responsibility for their reputation.

    It is neither racist nor discriminatory to mention the fact that the crime rates among Roma is ridiculously high. And it is neither racist nor discriminatory to be disgusted by a woman using her 6 month old baby to extort money out of passersby instead of getting off her ass and taking a cleaning job to feed them instead.

  28. Jean-Paul Bentham 3 Sep 2009, 5:24pm

    Regardless, I believe Stuart has a point.

    Your arguements seem to be the same that characterize the mentality of those who regularly butcher poor African men, women and children.

    Madonna has proven to me that she is not entirely self-centered by adopting children from the poorest areas of the world.

  29. @ Jean-Paul Bentham

    No example is enough for you now is there? Maybe when you will be attacked by a gypsy you will start listening to reason.

    And again I have to congratulate Vince for his logical thinking.

  30. Jean-Paul Bentham 3 Sep 2009, 11:39pm

    In October 1755, an upstart British general, without the approval of the British Monarchy or the British Board of Trade, thought it was quite “logical” to deport 60,000 Acadians, my ancestors.

    If your reasoning is so correct, how does your government stand on this issue, I mean the official positiion…and How can I trust you to interpret the will of your nation? What kind of an upstart are you, sir or madam?

  31. @ Jean-Paul Bentham

    If your question was addressed to me, then here is my answer.
    My government does it’s best to integrate the gypsies and I can assure you that there is no “institutional discrimination” against the gypsies in Romania. The negative atitudes the Romanians have against the gypsies are the result of gipsy behaviour, not because the Romanians are racist, far from it.
    And to put you at rest, I am a “sir” not a “madam”.

  32. Jean-Paul Bentham 4 Sep 2009, 5:13pm

    SBV82:

    Of course, I was talking to you, sir.

    Thank you for toning down; You are making sense to me now, and I am open to your point of view.

    Here in Canada, we have a National motorcycle gang called the Hell’s Angels, who do drive us crazy and who have lawyers to help them out of their illegal activities. But we do not have gypsies, that I know of.

    Thanks again.

  33. @ Jean-Paul Bentham

    Well, I am always open to debate, I just don’t like dogmatism.
    And yes, I heard about the Hell’s Angels, but believe me, they are “Angels” compared to some gypsies that we have here in Romania. The fact that there are probably very few gypsies in Canada is probably the reason you didn’t understand the degree of problems that we have with them here.

  34. Hi Everybody -
    as some of you have pointed out in the course of this discussion, there is a gap between the forced implementation of human rights laws (covering both LGBT and Ethnic communities in Eastern Europe) and what actually then happens on the ground. We have seen that ‘rights’ at the institutional and legislative levels don’t result in popular change – and in fact that result in a backlash sometimes because groups are hated to serve the majority (usually by displacing anxieties ie of Romanians being seen as inferior in the West, or of LGBT rights being a perversion of an already perverted sense of Romanian identity). And there are issues with any westerners saying ‘we’ need to make rule tougher for ‘them’ to enter the EU -this is a form of neo-colonialism.

    But don’t let racism win through the argument that SBV82 makes here which is simply ‘I am Romanian so you don’t know and can’t know why I hate all of one particular ethnic group.’ That’s like someone saying I”m straight and you’re gay so you can’t know why i hate all gays. It is racism.

    There is a strong Romani community in Canada and it is the responsibility of individuals who want to be able to speak up for all rights for ethnic and gay minorities to educate themselves and to have the courage to say ‘no, I don’t accept that just because you are a Romanian and you have lived in Romania that you are allowed to stereotype an entire group in clearly established racist ways.

    How does our gay community rely for its sense of polished ‘community’ on this allowance of racism?

    Personally, I have lived in Romania for more than a decade, I speak Romanian, and the racism against Roma in the straight and the queer ‘community’ is horrible and intense. Of course the responses of ethnic Romanians to me saying this will include ‘well, you mustn’t have lived with Tigani’ and ‘well, you obviously are too politically correct because you are from the West’ and ‘well you probably think that they’re all happy dancing stereotypes’ and finally, ‘well, you have no right to say anything because you were not born here.’ These were the same arguments written against Madonna (see the comments on youtube) alongside comments such as ‘death to all Gypsies.’

    Racism is racism, it is clear to see, lets not be fooled by essentialist arguments that because someone is born in Romania it is their ‘right’ to hate Roma. I don’t want to be in a ‘gay community’ that makes itself cohesive by accepting racism.

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