Controversial bisexual star Lady Gaga has confirmed her concerts will go ahead on Monday and Tuesday night in the Philippines, despite protests from conservative Muslim and Christian groups.
Protesters in the Catholic-majority region of Metro Manila are worried the singer’s provocative outfits and seemingly anti-religious lyrics will encourage lewd behaviour and promote homosexuality.
Catholic Archbishop Ramon Arguelles has urged the public to boycott the performances, saying fans were ‘in danger of falling into the clutches of Satan’.
The Mayor and Chief Executive of the City of Manila, Alfredo S. Lim has a conservative stance on gay issues, and warns on his website of the dangers of promoting homosexuality.
‘Humans as they are, gays have rights to be enjoyed as what normal beings possess,’ he says. ‘However we should inculcate into the minds of the children and adolescents the benefits of healthy and normal living and discourage them from indulging in gay activities or becoming one.’
Gaga boasts a back catalogue of songs which could further inflame tensions among conservative religious groups – her song ‘Judas’ describes a love affair between the singer and the man who betrayed Jesus in the Bible.
Any act that could be deemed to be offensive could land the star and her entourage in legal hot water – under Filipino law, anyone found guilty of taking part in ‘indecent shows’ can be jailed for up to six years for offending race or religion.
Despite the protests, demand for the tickets, which cost 15,840 pesos (£235) each, has been so high that the show’s run had to be extended from one to two nights.
Gaga has backed President Obama’s support of equal marriage on her Twitter page, and has recorded videos for the ‘It Gets Better’ project, featured on the Google Chrome adverts to encourage young LGBT people.