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Gay rights protester disrupts Russian-themed Metropolitan Opera opening night gala

ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK -- The Metropolitan Opera's Russian-themed opening night gala was disrupted by a protester critical of that country's anti-gay law.

It happened Monday night as the lights dimmed for Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin." The protester shouted that President Vladimir Putin should end, in his words, his "war on Russian gays."

The New York Times reports that the man then turned his attention to the evening's Russian stars — Anna Netrebko and Valery Gergiev. He shouted that their "silence is killing Russian gays."

Some members of the audience tried to quiet him down.

Security guards asked four protesters to leave, and they did.

Other protesters stood outside the opera's Lincoln Center building. They held up a banner that said "Support Russian Gays."

They were protesting a new Russian law that bans "propaganda on nontraditional sexual relationships."

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