Selena Gomez won't be bringing her Stars Dance Tour to Russia. The 21-year-old has been denied a visa to play in the country, apparently as a result of anti-gay laws. She joins pop stars Lady Gaga and Madonna, who've recently encountered similar trouble.
According to The Moscow Times, the singer was forced to cancel two upcoming tour dates: September 23 at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, and September 25 at Moscow's Olimpiisky Stadium.
The Times noted that her visa being denied is probably "indirectly" related to the country's anti-gay laws, which have led the government to crack down on artists they perceive to be spreading "homosexual propaganda" among minors. A law related to the matter was passed in June.
Gomez has yet to comment on the cancellations, and a rep for the singer had not responded to MTV News' request for comment by press time. E! News did confirm, however, that she won't be playing those dates.
Before Gomez's camp confirmed the show cancellations, author and gay-rights activist John Becker started a petition on Change.org, urging the singer to speak out for gay rights in Russia. "I am writing today to ask Selena Gomez to stand on stage and speak out for Russia's LGBT community during her upcoming trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg." At press time, more than 12,000 had signed the petition.
The Stars Dance show must go on though. Gomez is slated to play Dubai on September 27 before heading to the States on October 10, where she'll tour through November.
This summer, Gaga addressed Russia's anti-gay laws and the scrutiny she's come under because of it.
"Sending bravery to LGBTs in Russia. The rise in government abuse is archaic," she wrote in a Facebook post. "Hosing teenagers with pepper spray? Beatings? Mother Russia? The Russian government is criminal. Oppression will be met with revolution. Russian LGBTs you are not alone. We will fight for your freedom. Why didn't you arrest me when you had the chance, Russia? Because you didn't want answer to the world?"