We should commend gay activists for drawing our attention to the horrible state of affairs for our fellows in Russia.
As Scott Shackford reports, not only has Vladimir Putin’s government criminalized “anything remotely gay“, our fellows “are being publicly physically attacked with no consequence; indeed, the police and government seem to be cheering it on.”
But, just because they criticizing the Russian state’s thuggish tactics against gay people does not give them license to smear a good company that happens to have a Russian background. As you may know, some gay activists are calling for a boycott of just such a product, Stolichnaya Vodka. Problem is, as Shackford reminds us is that
The Stoli we drink here in the states is not made in Russia. It’s actually made in Latvia. It is actually a different vodka from what is sold within Russia. Russia seized the internal brands and renationalized them back in 2001. There is a big, nasty battle between Russia and the private Stolichnaya company and its owner, Yuri Scheffler.
And Scheffler’s company “is one of the gay-friendliest global companies in the world“. The man himself is no ally of Putin, indeed, he now “lives in exile” due to “disagreements with” that Russian leader.
As Oscar Raymundo writes in the San Francisco Examiner, “not only [is] this boycott is misinformed, but . . it’s [also] hurting a brand that has not once wavered in its public support for the LGBT community — not just our rights, but our local businesses and events.”
Stoli has donated to a number of gay and lesbian organizations, including some like GLAAD and HRC, on the left of the political spectrum.
Let us stand up to those who would bully a corporation merely because of the Russian origin of its product. On my way home from the Meatless Mondays Steak Dinner last night, I stopped by my local Trader Joe’s and bought a bottle of Stoli. Join me in supporting a gay-friendly company wrongly targeted by gay activists on the far, far left.