Lady Gaga is expected to perform her hit "Born This Way" at the end of the annual European gay pride parade in Rome on Saturday night.
The Europride parade is held in a different European city each year and this year will go through Rome's historic center toward Circus Maximus, where ancient Romans once gathered for entertainment, the Associated Press reports. Lady Gaga agreed to sing one song for the occasion and organizers expect she will chose "Born This Way" to encourage gay pride.
The organizers chose Rome as this year's venue, partially because it is home to the Vatican, which staunchly opposes legislation that would recognize same-sex marriage or adoption by gay couples.
Others are hoping it will also send a message to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is on trial for allegedly paying for sex with an underage Moroccan girl and sparked outrage from gay rights groups when he said in a public appearance last fall, "better to be passionate about a beautiful girl than a gay."
Lady Gaga also recently ignited religious controversy over her "Judas" music video, which depicts the singer as Mary Magdalene in a biker apostle gang. The 25-year-old singer denies that the video is meant to be an attack on religion.
"This video is not meant to be an attack on religion. I respect and love everyone's beliefs," she told MTV. "I'm a religious and spiritual person who's obsessed with religious art. I'm obsessed with it ... I believe I was put on this earth to cause a ruckus... I just want to keep making stuff that's great and thought-provoking."
In the video, there appears to be a love triangle between Mary Magdalene, Judas (Norman Reedus from "The Boondock Saints") and Jesus (Rick Gonzalez from "Coach Carter" and "Reaper") which is manifested in an erotic re-imagining of Magdalene washing Jesus' feet.
The singer's album "Born This Way" saw a sharp decrease in sales in its second week with 174,000 copies, after selling more than a million copies in its first week.
CNN reports that the drop-off in sales is likely because in the first week, the pop singer teamed up with Amazon.com to offer the record for 99 cents for a limited time.