ROME (Reuters) - Pop queen Lady Gaga concluded a huge European gay rights march in Rome on Saturday night with a rousing call to governments to defend gay rights.
"Today and every day we fight for freedom. We fight for justice. We beckon for compassion, understanding and above all we want full equality now," she shouted to a crowd of several hundred thousand people at the Italian capital's ancient Circus Maximus.
"We have the same DNA. We were just 'born this way'," she said, using the title of her latest hit album.
Sporting dyed green hair and an outfit by the late fashion designer Gianni Versace, she said she was "angry" and singled out several governments in Europe and the Middle East she said discriminated against gays.
"I am aware that many countries and governments worldwide still restrict their citizens from reading about LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues and this is what means the most to me in my career. I want all of your stories to be heard by the world," she said.
She mentioned Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary and Lebanon.
"We stand here to demand an end to intolerance," she shouted before accompanying herself on a grand piano in acoustic renditions of some of her songs.
Rome officials had feared that she would launch a direct attack on Pope Benedict and the Vatican over their stand against homosexual acts but she did not mention either.
She merely said she was respectful of religion but that religions had to acknowledge and accept the diversity of people.
Her latest album, "Born This Way," rocketed to the top of the U.S. and British charts earlier this month.