By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com August 01 2013 1:42 PM ET
LGBT activists and business owners poured Russian-produced vodka into the street outside the Russian Embassy in New York City Wednesday, protesting the nation's harsh laws banning so-called "homosexual propaganda," its violent crackdown on pro-LGBT demonstrators — including visiting tourists — and its refusal to allow gay and lesbian foreigners to adopt Russian orphans, all in advance of the Winter Olympic Games to be held in Sochi, Russia next year.
The Associated Press was on hand with a clever "vodka-cam," documenting the dump of Russian-made vodka.
"We're here today…to let the Putin government and Russian businesses, in particular the makers of Russian vodkas, know that we are not going to stand silently while they attack us and our community," Ann Northrop of Queer Nation, who organized the demonstration with Russian LGBT group RUSA-LGBT, told the AP.
American author and activist Dan Savage, a married gay man, called on U.S. gay bars and LGBT supporters last month to boycott Russian-made vodka in protest of the country's antigay laws. Savage specifically mentioned boycotting Stolichnaya Vodka, though the brand's parent company issued a statement to The Advocate affirming its longstanding and ongoing support for the LGBT community.
An LGBT activist in Russia said last month that the proposed boycott won't impact LGBT Russians who are under ever-increasing siege from religious and government-imposed oppression.
Nevertheless, LGBT activists across the nation have joined the call to "Dump Russian Vodka," tweeting under the hashtags #DumpStoli and #DumpRussianVodka — with the BBC noting the boycott has spread to the United Kingdom. Watch the AP's video of the New York demonstration Wednesday below, which followed similar actions in West Hollywood, Calif., earlier this week.