Russian gay activists: There is ‘no point’ boycotting vodka

Gay rights campaigners have responded to Dan Savage's worldwide call to drop Russian vodka as a symbol of protest against Vladimir Putin's anti-gay laws

Russian gay activists: There is ‘no point’ boycotting vodka
26 July 2013

Russian LGBT activists have responded to the worldwide call to boycott Russian vodka, saying there is ‘no point’ and will not change anti-gay laws.

Nikolai Alekseev, a regular Gay Star News contributor, has said it will have little effect on the ‘gay propaganda’ law.

US gay rights campaigner Dan Savage pioneered the boycott, telling gay bars to ‘dump Russian vodka’.

Alekseev, in the heart of fighting against the homophobic law, described the boycott as a ‘symbolic gesture doomed to failure’.

‘To be honest, I don’t see the point in boycotting the Russian vodka,’ he said.

‘It will impact anyone except the companies involved a little bit. The effect will die out very fast, it will not last forever.’

Alekseev added: ‘And what is the aim of this boycott? The producers, even if they become bankrupt because of the boycott (which is unlikely) will not be able to influence Russian politics and President Putin as well as the decisions of the State Duma.’

The human rights campaigner said if people around the world want to do something that will actually help Russian gays, then they should target the homophobic lawmakers.

He said: ‘Just three or four persons on the visa ban list of the EU, USA, UK and several other countries will dissuade other Russian politicians to follow this path.

‘This is the only thing which can effectively work.

‘Pressure your governments to put the authors of those laws on the black lists for the entrance visas. They will suffer and others will think twice. Nothing else will work!’

Across the world, gay bars like Chicago’s Sidetracks and London’s KU bar  and G-A-Y have said they will be dropping brands like Stolichnaya (‘Stoli’) and Russian Standard and will only be serving non-Russian vodka.

Stoli vodka’s CEO Val Mendeleev has defended his product, the production of which is brewed in Russia and Latvia.

He said: ‘I want to stress that Stoli firmly opposes such attitude and actions. Indeed, as a company that encourages transparency and fairness, we are upset and angry.

‘Stolichnaya Vodka has always been, and continues to be a fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community.’

The ‘non-traditional relationships propaganda’ law was passed unanimously by both chambers of Russian government, and was signed by Putin last month.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

UK university cancels Football v Homophobia event after being accused of transphobia

Trans players wanted to play on their preferred team of males or females
No thumbnail available

Wrestler at Catholic high school in Iowa comes out to coach - who also happens to be his dad

Cole Fox leaves remarkable two-page coming out letter in dad's pocket who later texts son: 'You are still a great son and I am proud of you'
No thumbnail available

Proof: Neil Patrick Harris has a huge snake in his pants

How I Met Your Mother star met with two huge snakes in his shoot for Vanity Fair
No thumbnail available

Beverly Hills Hotel responds to accusation they are owned by homophobes

Hotel spokesperson says Brunei government owners do not effect their policies, but protest organizer says that's not the point
No thumbnail available

Expendables 3 director hints Schwarzenegger and Jet Li’s characters are a gay couple

Expendables 3 director Patrick Hughes said ‘I believe they are’ when asked if action legends Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jet Li play a gay couple in his movie
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Fostering: ‘There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that we are helping a child’

Civil partners Sherrie and Joanne Johnson, of Nottingham, England, explain why they chose to become foster carers and why others should consider it
No thumbnail available

French bird man dances against gay marriage

Protesters hatch a plan to stop France's gay marriage and adoption bill by performing a bizarre bird dance
No thumbnail available

UKIP anti-gay politicians lose election

A candidate who claimed exercise prevents gayness and another who said gay sex is 'frightful sordidness' lost a UK local elections bid
No thumbnail available

Lesbian bride who Fox News mistook for a man speaks out

'Yes, I'm aware I look like a dude,' Stephanie Figarelle says, adding she is so thankful to have a loving, supportive wife