Russia’s anti-gay law continues to be a major issue across many sports and artistic venues. As celebrities and athletes have made their stand against Russia’s treatment of gays, protesters made their voices of opposition known. As the Associated Press reports on September 24, a protester interrupted the Metropolitan Opera’s Russian-themed opening night gala with shouts of outrage towards President Vladimir Putin.
On Monday night, as Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” began, the protestor shouted that Putin should end his “war on Russian gays” and then he turned his attention on Russian stars who were performing. He shouted to stars Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev that their “silence is killing Russian gays!”
The protester was eventually removed by security guards after members of the audience tried to quiet him down. Patrons of the opera were also faced protestors outside of the opera house who chanted with a banner that read “Support Russian Gays!”
According tot he New York Times, the protest was energized when Andrew Rudin, a gay composer, started an online petition that has been signed by more than 9,000 people. The petition was set up to rug the Met to dedicate the performance to gay rights in Russia. In an interview Rudin said:
“Here’s a chance for the Met, in an entirely benign and positive way, to use its great cultural influence to be relevant, and to do something positive.”
The Russian law which bans “propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships” signed into law by Mr. Putin this past June has drawn worldwide attention as gay rights activists, celebrities, politicians and athletes who oppose the law continue to made a stand in the name of human rights.