Comments

  1. woodroad34d says

    In West Hollywood there is a large Russian community and a contingent of the Russian Mafia. It would be interesting if the City of West Hollywood could do something with them to effect change…not sure what, but it is an opportunity with a community that probably has ties with Mama Bear Russia.

  2. Paul R says

    I’m all for punishing companies for bad or hateful decisions, and I’ve certainly had more than my share of vodka over the years. But I’m not sure that linking LGBT rights to vodka and bars is the most elegant or effective approach, especially since the vodka companies weren’t responsible for Russia’s draconian laws and can’t do a ton to change them under Putin’s oligarchy.

    So given that the goal is to raise attention—even if 1,000 bars stop serving Russian vodka for a few months, the financial hit to the vodka companies will be minute—why not call for a broader boycott of Russian goods or for a tangible response from policymakers, Russian and foreign? It’s just unfortunate that the effort implies that vodka and bars are pillars of LGBT lives and rights. And yes, I fully realize that they play a large role in the lives of many gay men. But the links between the issues involved seem a bit muddled. Sparking discussion is obviously good, but the ultimate goals need to be clearer.

  3. says

    @WOODROAD34D Don’t you remember the Santender Singh murder case? A gay man killed by Russians in California. A lot of them have converted to some kind of evangelical protestant sect. Not likely allies, unfortunately. Plus many Russian immigrants are just as homophobic and racist as they are at home, alas.

  4. throwslikeagirl says

    It would be terrific if the large Russian community in WeHo allied themselves with the LGBT community. That would send a message of love of societal diversity. Either group could reach out to the other. They’ve been coexisting amicably anyway.

  5. East Coast says

    There are a lot of anti-gay laws in different states here in the U.S. – why are we not boycotting those products too? Seems like a lame boycott just because a product is made in a particular country….especially when they support the gay community!

  6. Gee says

    Gays latch on to protest gimmicks — but gay people like Dan Savage like to take credit for them even more. Face the fact that you are not universally admired. Your Vodka is piss in the ocean Savage. Russia is too big an assignment for you.

  7. Jerome says

    You got marriage now STFU! “Glee” had an overdose. Time to wake up and face reality. Focus on AIDS. It’s still here. The Olympics doesn’t care about you. Just watch… This isn’t The United States of Gay.

  8. Tom in Lazybrook says

    How about this. Hit the IOC where it counts. During the Olympics, if NBC shows any positive coverage about Russia, Putin, or Kiril…have thousands of Gay persons dump their Comcast (Comcast owns NBC) coverage for UVerse en masse (DishTV is anti-Gay btw). If the average Comcast customer pays 80 bucks a month for cable. If just 25,000 customers switch, that represents a loss to NBC/Comcast of over 100 million dollars over 5 years. That will teach them to not pay the IOC without demanding accountability.

  9. KC says

    Gotta agree with TONEZ. Forget vodka – it’s small stuff in the bigger picture. The real pressure needs to be on the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, which Russia is counting on to be a major centerpiece to boost their standing in the world.

    We can’t stop Sochi and the IOC (rant about the IOC withheld for now), but using Sochi 2014 to focus global attention on Russia’s travesties toward LGBT people could be huge. Think about it. What if the entire USA Team did something in solidarity, as simple as carrying a rainbow flag, that would get all of them arrested. Now we have a major international incident and Russia (and Putin) are in a tight spot under a global spotlight.

    More effective than switching brands of vodka? Yeah, I think so. Just a thought.

  10. Queen Of The Night says

    Russian entrepreneur Yury Shefler owns 88% of the shares of SPI Group (manufacturer of Stoli) which according to their website “production begins with the authentic Stolichnaya base spirit, produced to the highest standards using 100% Russian wheat, rye and artesian well water.” Oh, and 70% of their sales are in North America. Putin likes to think of himself as the Czar of Russia but the real leaders are it’s oligarchs. Boycotting their products hits their power base where they live…in the wallet. This boycott, if it takes hold, has the potential of being a real help to LGBT citizens in Russia/Eastern Europe.

  11. David says

    This will be just as effective as that time people boycotted Chick-fil-A because of its President’s homophobic behavior, right? All that boycotting totally got him to suddenly change his mind. Oh, wait … But honestly, what is the purpose of this call to boycott? One does not affect the other. Guaranteed, this boycott will affect 0% change in the Russian government’s stance on homosexuality.

  12. Rob says

    These comments are negative, jaded, and ill-informed. This is a very meaningful gesture and could easily expand into broader social pressure from other organizations. I am reminded of the anti-apartheid demonstrations where universities were pressured to divest from companies doing business in South Africa. The pressure grew and grew and was eventually very effective.

    I salute Dan Savage for showing some leadership on this. (Do we have anyone else?) I am equally happy with the owners of Sidetrack, which serves enormous amounts of vodka, for getting out in front on this. The wire services have picked up the story of the Sidetrack and other boycotts, and it is now front page news in London and Paris.

    Let’s remember that Halsted vodka donates 15 % of its profits to LGBT causes. Does any other distiller donate a single dime?

  13. jjose712 says

    David: Nobody expected Dan Cathy to change his mind. But the fact that their PR do all their best to minimize the damage everytime he opens his mouth show that they really fear the boycott.
    Yes day had a very good day when all the homophobes decides to go there, but that doesn’t last.

    Make some noise is never bad. Put pressure on Sochi sponsors will be even better. If big companies drop their support to the games that will hurt for sure

  14. says

    The point is not to buy the boycotted product. Once you’ve paid for it you may as well drink it. Pouring out makes for good press pics I guess but they already have your money. What you do with the product after that doesn’t really matter.

  15. dommyluc says

    I remember, back in the day – farther back than I’d like to admit – when gay bars and African-American bars boycotted the hateful Coors Brewing Company. I took years, but the boycott finally brought them down. But this was before the Internet and instant organizing. This makes a difference, people. If you like vodka, find a non-Russian brand. I doubt if anyone will suffer with Grey Goose or Absolut. LOL!

  16. dommyluc says

    I remember, back in the day – farther back than I’d like to admit – when gay bars and African-American bars boycotted the hateful Coors Brewing Company. I took years, but the boycott finally brought them down. But this was before the Internet and instant organizing. This makes a difference, people. If you like vodka, find a non-Russian brand. I doubt if anyone will suffer with Grey Goose or Absolut. LOL!

  17. Jim says

    Oh… Don’t pour it out what you’ve got left.

    Make it into ice-cubes and pour them in the urinals!

    Don’t forget to Instagram and tweet the pic to the Stoli people.

  18. says

    Precisely DOMMYLUC.

    To judge from some of the characters who post in here gay people are more terrified of taking action to defend themselves than they are of those who attack us.

    The Russians in WeHo are wildly homophobic. Always have been. Their presence has led to the closure of any number of gay venues, and restructured the entire area over the last 15-20 years. To bloody Hell with them!

  19. Bobby says

    Digital Sky Technologies(under Mail.ru Group), a Russian internet holding company, owns 5.4% of Facbeook making it the 3rd largest owner of the company. They also hold significant shares in Groupon and Zynga. Yuri Milner, founder of SKT, was named on Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s fifty most prominent business people in 2010 (the only Russian). This does not include the co-owner of Mail.ru Group, Alisher Usmanov, who is the richest Russian and 39th richest person in the world. I’m pretty sure their BILLIONS have more influence and does more for the Russian economy than the MILLIONS coming from Stoli. Why is no one calling on them to help force change in Russia or would it be too much for you to boycott Facebook?

  20. Henry Holland says

    There’s 3 different WeHo’s: the Sunset Strip part, which caters to rich straights; the flatlands east of La Cienega, which is where the Russian’s and others too poor to live in the pricier areas are, which is under-developed compared to the Sunset Strip part; and the area around the Pacific Design Center, which is where The Gays congregate.

  21. steve talbert says

    use the vodka as a toner instead of dumping it. At least something positive can come of it. But be sure to moisturize because it’s hard on the skin.

    It doesn’t freeze, so the urinal ice idea, which was great, won’t actually work in practice.

    I agree that a boycott is good because it is business interests that control government actions.

  22. GEB says

    Gays have a small degree of power, they are not the monolithic block they perceive themselves to be. The focus on the gay Russian teens may take attention off of attacks here. Just like marriage equality. We turned ourselves into an oppressed minority and sold it that way. Everyone hates the Russians right? Churn it baby… less attacks here.

  23. GEB says

    Gays have a small degree of power, they are not the monolithic block they perceive themselves to be. The focus on the gay Russian teens may take attention off of attacks here. Just like marriage equality. We turned ourselves into an oppressed minority and sold it that way. Everyone hates the Russians right? Churn it baby… less attacks here.

  24. Reality Chek says

    Could some explain what exactly Stoli is supposed to do? I’m asking an honest question. The company is not Russian. They have alread pledged support for gays and lesbians. What exactly is he supposed to do?

  25. Zambanini4Equality says

    The pressure on Russia must be via a multipronged approach. Boycott of Stoli and other Russian vodkas and consumer products, and international and EU and US Govt and St Dept pressure on Putin and Russia. Unfortunately there are very few Russian consumer products sold in the US. There is however a HUGE Russian consumer (and business) product which has till now been overlooked in the #DumpStoli #BoycottRussia campaign: Kaspersky Antivirus! They are a powerful Russian company. So be sure to #BoycottKaspersky Antivirus too. Tweet it along with #DumpStoli!! They are the 2nd largest Russian consumer product in the US after Stoli and the 4th largest in antivirus sales globally! Kaspersky makes up 28% of the US antivirus market. They are an international company but are very popular in Italy and Iran. They are #2 in Italy! The Kaspersky owners/CEO’s Natalia and Eugene have both supported Russian government Internet censorship (see Wikipedia about Kaspersky Lab) despite international outrage – Wikipedia even took down its Russian site in protest. The Current CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, has a “vision” to censure social networking sites as detailed in this 2012 Wired article which points out he was trained by the KGB and notes his “vision” for Internet and social networking censorship.:

    Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/ff_kaspersky/all/

    Please tweet and share!:

    #KasperskyAntivirus: 2nd Largest RUSSIAN consumer product in US! #LGBT #BoycottKaspersky #DumpStoli pic.twitter.com/0T9DSufFuX

    #KasperskyAntivirus: 4th in antivirus sales globally! #LGBT #BoycottKaspersky #DumpStoli #BoycottRussia pic.twitter.com/0T9DSufFuX

  26. Patrick Hagerty says

    I love how EVERYONE is going after Stoli, Does anyone realize that Stoli is made in Latvia, NOT Russia? How about going after these companies…Dovgan, Gold Symphony Vodka, Hrenovuha, Kauffman Vodka, Kubanskaya, Moscow Distillery Crystal, Moskovskaya, Moskovskaya vodka, Narodnaya, Putinka, Pyatizvyozdnaya, Rodnik, Ruskova, Russian Standard (vodka), Shustov vodka, Smirnoff & Youri Dolgoruki Vodka. Did you notice Smirnoff is in there, no one is seen dumping that Vodka, yet they ARE made in Russia!

    How about do your research people before you go after a company like Soli. They, like Absolute, are HUGE supporters of the LGBT community. My god the letter that president of Stoli sent out slamming the Russian Government would be considered “Gay Propaganda” and could be jailed for what he wrote and yet he still wrote it.

    We as a community are too quick to jump on the “band wagon” of boycotting something before doing your research!

  27. OCgirl says

    I hope they stopped driving. Our oil/gas comes from countries that kill LGBT’s. So to pour out perfectly good vodka and still drive is moronic. The jokes on them anyway because they already bought the vodka. LMAO

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