Members of Queer Nation disrupted a panel discussion led by Russian officials promoting investment in Moscowat the Princeton Club of New Yorkon Mondaymorning.
The New York-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy group protested Russia’s history of laws discriminating against gays and lesbians, according to Queer Nation member Andrew Miller.
The University and the Princeton Club of New York are separate entities, University Spokesperson Martin Mbugua clarified. The Princeton Club coordinates the events that take place in its facilities.
Representatives for the Princeton Club of New York did not respond to requests for comment.
The Kremlin has been criticized by domestic and international advocacy groups in recent months fora law signed by President Vladimir V. Putin in Junethat bans the distribution of “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relationships” to minors but which has been widely interpreted as a legislative attempt to dampen the country’s emerging gay rights movement.
Three protesters who attended the forum were escorted out of the room by security guards after their outbursts, while a fourth videotaped the scene, Queer Nation protester Duncan Osborne said. According to Queer Nation protester Mark Milano, approximately 40 people were at the event.
There were also protesters outside the event holding a 60-foot rainbow flag banner that read, “Support Russian Gays,” Miller said. Another banner read, “Stop Putin’s Lies,” Milano said.
“We decided to pay them a visit," Miller said, "because we don’t think that Russian government officials should be able to come to New York City to solicit money and investments without being held accountable for their government’s anti-gay legislation and the atmosphere of oppression and violence that it engenders."
Osborne said that he and the other two speakers—Milano and Queer Nation protester John Weir—got their tickets for the forum a few weeks ago and planned what they were going to say beforehand via email and at a meeting.