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London’s biggest gay clubs join in on boycott of Russian vodka

On Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Tribeca Film Festival 2012 After-Party For Trishna, Hosted By Stolichnaya Vodka, At Hotel Chantelle - 4/27/12You won’t find Russian vodka in gay bars from Manhattan to West Hollywood as gay-rights activists in both Russia and the United States have called for a boycott of Russia imported Vodka. As Fox News reports on July 30, London has joined in on the boycott as the global movement highlighting Kremlin’s anti-gay laws gain momentum.

Gay rights activists believe Russia is moving backwards when it comes to gay rights, especially after President Vladimir Putin’s government banned what they call “gay propaganda” in the country. The new Russian anti-gay laws, which punishes anyone who advocates gay marriage or any gay behavior, has been described as both disgusting and inhuman.

The law also punishes anyone outside the country who comes into Russia advocating gay rights. Just last week, four Dutch tourists were arrested for “gay propaganda”. These actions have lead gay activists to hit the country where it may hurt the most, the economy. This means boycotting one of their biggest imports, vodka.

Dan Savage, a sex columnist, author and gay rights advocate, called for the Russian-vodka boycott movement on July 24. In his blog he wrote:

“There is something we can do right here, right now to show our solidarity with Russian queers and their allies and to help to draw international attention to the persecuting of gay men, lesbian, bisexuals, trans people, and straight allies in Putin’s increasingly fascistic Russia: dump Russian vodka.”

Stoli is one of Russia’s more popular vodkas and the company has responded to the campaign by condemning the Russian anti-gay laws and voiced their support for the gay community. Val Mendeleev, chief executive of the SPI Group, which owns Stoli said that the vodka is not Russian owned but that is not stopping it from being impacted by the boycott.

Jeremy Joseph, founder and owner of the G-A-Y Group, which runs the famous Heaven superclub in London, is leading the way for British gay bars. He feels it is time for all gay communities to come together and show Russia that their anti-gay laws and treatment of their gay citizens is not okay.

“It’s important to show solidarity at a really hard time.”

Joseph has asked all of his four venues to remove Russian vodka from the shelves.

About - Tarringo T. Vaughan always believed he had a love affair with literature. One of the first pictures he saw of himself was of him at maybe the age of three or four year’s old sitting with a book in his hand. But for Tarringo, growing up in the depths of the inner city both in Boston, MA and Springfield, MA made him believe that expression through the literary voice was un-cool and unattainable. As a very quiet and shy child he learned it became very valuable in his self expression. Born in 1976, Tarringo was the first child, grandchild and nephew in a family that had grown accustomed to struggle. His mother was a teenager who quickly lost the support of my father who today he knows very little of. These aspects of his life triggered the inspiration of his pen.

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