Tuesday, September 03, 2013

SF Opera Asked to Dedicate Opening Nite to Gay Russians

[UPDATE: Mr. Gockley has replied and rejected our request. His letter is posted here.]

Members of Gays Without Borders and BoycottRussianVodka.com will be holding a fun informational vigil on Friday, September 6 at 7:00 pm at the SF Opera's gala opening night at the War Memorial Opera House, located at Van Ness and Grove.

The activists have contacted the opera company requesting that the performance of "Mephistophelese" that night be dedicated to expressing solidarity with LGBT people in Russia.

Among the performers is out lesbian soprano and activist Patricia Racette, who has been asked to dedicate her performance to Russian LGBTs. As of this writing, we await a reply from the SF Opera and Racette.

As patrons are entering the Opera House, activists will distribute a flyer requesting that they show support for Russian LGBT people and a repeal of the country's anti-gay propaganda laws.

Organizers hope that the vigil on Friday moves the struggle for LGBT respect and acceptance in Russia into the cultural realm, broadening support already seen in political and sports circles. Please join us!

Here's the letter sent this afternoon to the SF Opera:

David Gockley
General Manager
SF Opera

Dear Mr. Gockley,

In light of the recent enactment of Russia's draconian anti-gay propaganda law and terrible escalation of violence against LGBT Russians, we are requesting that the September 6 opening night performance of "Mephistophelese" be dedicated in solidarity with LGBT Russians.

We are a group of global LGBT activists who have been organizing awareness regarding this law and building solidarity with LGBT Russians here in San Francisco. We are expanding this imperative campaign to include realms into the arts and cultural world.

We formally ask that you dedicate Friday Night's opening performance to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight allies in Russia who seek repeal of the anti-gay propaganda law.

On Friday night, we will be staging an informational, positive and upbeat vigil in front of the War Memorial Opera House. We very much want the vigil to be one where we thank you and the opera company for standing in solidarity with LGBT Russia.

It our firm belief that by agreeing to this request, the great institution of the San Francisco Opera, with it's profound commitment to diversity, social justice and respect of human rights, will have a tremendous and beneficial impact for LGBT Russians and the cultural world.

We look forward to your response.

Melanie Nathan
Commission, Marin Human Rights Commission

Michael Petrelis
Community Organizer, Gays Without Borders

Robbie Sweeney

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