Friday, August 28, 2009 9:47am by  
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Madonna stands up for Romanian gypsies and gays at concert

Madonna at her concert in Romania on Wednesday told fans to fight discrimination against gays and gypsies.

She said:

"I've never been to Romania before and I am happy to be here. But I found out that there is a lot of discrimination against gypsies in Eastern Europe and that makes me very sad, especially because we believe in acceptance, gypsies, homosexuals, people that are different. Everyone must be treated the same, don't forget that!"

But instead of the applause she expected fans jeered and booed the statement.

There are over 500,000 gypsies officially registered in Romania but the real numbers are expected to be much more as many have not declared their ethnicity in a country where they face widespread discrimination. They are Romania's most socially and economically disadvantaged minority, with high illiteracy levels. 

Gays in Romania face violence from other Romanians. In recent years, marchers at gay rights rallies in Bucharest have been met by hundreds of protesters who hurl eggs, tomatoes and trash in an effort to break up the marches.  

Watch Madonna address the Romanian crowds below: