LGBT Group Calls For Boycott Of Russian Vodka In Response To Country’s Anti-Gay Regime


Coming on the heels of the arrest of three Dutch tourists in Russia under the country's new gay 'propaganda' ban, Queer Nation has begun an organized boycott of Russian vodka over the country's virulently anti-gay record. 

From the statement:

In light of the Putin regime's attacks on the LGBT community, Queer Nation is calling for a worldwide boycott of Russian vodka.

Do not buy or drink Russian vodka: Brands include Russian Standard and Stolichnaya. Demand that bar owners do not buy or serve Russian vodka. Ask your favorite club promoters, DJs, and entertainers to insist that Russian brands are not served in the venues in which they perform.

It's time to target Russia. Dump Russian vodka!

The organization expects to have additional upcoming actions that the LGBT community and allies can take to send a message that anti-gay violence will never be tolerated. The announcement follows a similar call by Russian LGBT activists to boycott the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

[image by Gilbert Baker, the designer of the rainbow flag]


  1. andrew says

    I think the boycott of Russian Vodka is a GREAT idea. There are so many other great Vodka’s to choose from. Any Northern European Vodka is at least as good!!!

  2. andrew says

    I think the boycott of Russian Vodka is a GREAT idea. There are so many other great Vodka’s to choose from. Any Northern European Vodka is at least as good!!!

  3. TonyJazz says

    This is a great idea. I hope straight bars will also pick up on it, as we have many allies there, too.

    No more Russian vodka!

  4. andrew says

    This is a boycott like that of Coors, in the past, that can have an effect. So many LGBT folks and their friends drink Russian Vodka that a switch to equally tasty other Northern European Vodka’s will be easy and perhaps send a message to those backward Russians.

  5. WK says

    Chik-Fil-A is one thing, but a gay has their limits. Stolichnaya has always been my favorite vodka, has been supportive of LGBT rights in the past, and can be pried from my dead gay hands.

  6. jed says

    sadly, this is one of those campaigns that would make you feel good thinking you’re doing something but in fact hardly has any impact. sorry.

    russia’s main exports are oil and natural gas (58% of all exports), metals, chemical products, cars, military equipment and timber. vodka export is barely a blip in their export trade.

    the lgbt groups need to collectively provide leadership and come up with a more thoughtful strategy and impactful response.

  7. andrew says

    The boycott of Russian vodka is a good place to start. No one has to go without, there are great alternatives. Let Stoli put pressure on the primitive Russian people and government.

  8. etseq says

    Queer Nation still exists? I thought they all burnt out a few years after they formed in the 1990s. I always hated them for trying to mainstream that damn q-word…

  9. Maguitac says

    This is perfect. Polish vodka had always been best anyways. Go for Wyborowa, it beats Russian anytime.

  10. Eric says

    If Russia had done the same thing based on race, or religion, the world would already be talking about boycotting the upcoming Olympics unless the policies were rescinded.

  11. Omar says

    I agree. We have to start somewhere. Why not booze?? They will feel this in their punk b-tch pocketbooks..

  12. John Conolley says

    Vodka is ethanol and water. You can buy the supermarket brand. Any difference in flavor is illusory.

  13. says

    Stolichnaya sold outside Russia is distilled in Latvia and owned by a Scottish company. So it would harm only those countries, not Russia.

    Russian Standard, however, is indeed Russian.

  14. Dave says

    Stoli has typically been very gay-friendly and advertises heavily in gay media. It seems misguided to punish them. Plus, it’s no longer made in Russia.

  15. tinkerbelle says

    Caviar (the good stuff) is Iranian…

    I’m all for Polish vodka, I agree there is no real difference in vodka taste once you’re up to 80 proof.

  16. Michael Bedwell says

    @ KEVINVT and Dave: sorry, but you’re wrong. Stoli has carefully chosen their words in public statements to distract from the FACT—that appears on their own Website—that international Stoli is made from wheat that’s grown on their farms IN Russia, and that the first steps of distilling it are done at THEIR Talvis distillery near their farms IN Tambov, Russia, before it’s sent to Latvia. The company that owns international Stoli also owns another distillery IN Perm, Russia, and says on their own company Website that “Our agriculture interests mean WE ARE ONE OF THE LEADING FORCES IN RUSSIAN AGRICULTURE ….” thus magnifying the potential power of a boycott of any of SPI’s products. Points for advertising revenue are cancelled out by their overt attempt at deception.

  17. Kiche says

    I don’t see how attempting to damage the revenue of Russian-owned vodka companies is a good idea. Russia is certainly not the only country in the world maintaining an anti-gay attitude, and why must people living on the other side of the world intefere with its politics and culture?

    It has become an asset of Western culture to promote equality for gay people, but Russian culture is not ours. To attempt to enforce our beliefs on them is cultural imperialism, no matter how one tries to sugar-coat it. Why not crusade against Saudi Araba or Nigeria or any number of other countries?

    Personally, I’m all for gay rights, but I’m not so inclined to meddle in another nation’s internal affairs. Russia has had a very turbulent past, and recently at that. Social change takes time, and while I do hope that this will one day happen in Russia, you can’t expect it to emerge from decades of trouble into an immediate haven of safety and equality. This is something the Russian people must work towards, rather being being condemned by ignorant foreigners.

    And regarding the vodka companies in particular – well, have these companies personally launched anti-gay campaigns and participated in suppressive political maneuvres? Why target them specifically? If there would be a boycott of the Olympics, for example, then Russia would be amongst several countries boycotted for the same reasons.