Gay Bars Boycott Russian Vodka

Verdict still out on White Russians

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 29, 2013 4:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Many have been calling for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but gay bars across the US have figured out a more immediate way to show Russia how they feel about the country's anti-gay laws: stop buying its vodka. The move was spearheaded by journalist and sex writer Dan Savage, the Guardian reports, who wrote a blog post at the Stranger calling for bars and gay rights supporters to "dump Stoli" and other Russian vodkas. Stolichnaya promptly responded by publishing an open letter condemning the Russian government for "limiting the rights of the LGBT community," and noting that the company is not actually Russian, but rather based out of Luxembourg (not mentioned: it makes its products with Russian ingredients).

Still, many bars across America have taken up the cause. At least seven bars around Chicago have pulled Russian products, according to the Windy City Times; USA Today reports that 10 New York bars are on board; and the LA Times lists seven West Hollywood bars joining the boycott. "When you think of Russia you think of Russian vodka. Russia vodka is ubiquitous with Russia," says a gay rights activist promoting the "Dump Russian Vodka" idea, per USA Today. "It seems like a good place to start."

  (Shutterstock)
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