U.S. Rep. John Lewis joins concern over Russia's anti-gay laws
Several Atlanta gay bars are dumping Stolichnaya as a way to protest the inhumane treatment of LGBT people in Russia, where this brand of vodka originated.
On June 15, Robby Kelley, co-owner of the Atlanta Eagle, announced his bar would stop serving the popular vodka and any other Russian booze.
"I know Stoli is not made in Russia but profits made from it goes there. The Atlanta Eagle will no longer carry these vodkas. When we are out, we are out. I'm a small bar but [feel] like [it's] my job [not] to support vodka or [products] from a country that just removed the rights of the lgbt community for the next 100 years," he said.
To boycott, or not to boycott, that is the question.
All Out, a global gay rights group launched in 2010, and Athlete Ally, a U.S.-based organization that promotes LGBT inclusion in sports, released a joint statement today, calling on a political solution rather than a boycott of the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, over the country's anti-gay agenda.
A flurry of online petitions calling for a complete boycott of the games, its corporate sponsors and even NBC have cropped up recently. Some gay bars have even started their own boycott of Russian vodka.
But All Out Executive Director Andre Banks said today that a boycott of the games to protest Russia's anti-gay laws was not the most prudent way to send a message to Russian politicians.
Gay rights activists across the globe have called on the international community to boycott the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, over the country's continued crackdown on gay rights activists and LGBTQ tourists.
Already, online petition creators have amassed thousands of digital signatures calling for a complete boycott of the upcoming games.
One such petition, currently on Change.org, has amassed some 20,000 signatures.
RUSA LGBT, an LGBTQ advocacy organization made up of Russian speakers, is leading the call for a boycott of the games. Its message is pretty simple: Do not support Sochi.
While gay and lesbian Americans are anxiously awaiting a pair of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that could see the biggest advancement of LGBT rights in American history, Russia is taking a decidedly different path.
Russia's lower house of Parliament today passed a law banning gay “propaganda,” which is being called an unnecessary overreach by international gay rights activists. The vote was 436 to 0 with one abstention while some 20 activists were arrested earlier today during protests against the legislation.
According to news outlet Russia Today, the current version of the law “describes the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations as 'spreading the information in order to form non-traditional sexual desires in children, describing such relations as attractive, promoting the distorted understanding of social equality of traditional and non-traditional relations and also unwanted solicitation of information that could provoke interest to such relations.'”