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  SETTING IT STRAIGHT

LGBT Leader Says Boycotting Stoli Has As Much impact on Putin’s Policies As Boycotting Borscht

jean_lorriThe Stoli boycott is the most obviously misguided. First, the company that makes Stoli isn’t based in Russia and the vodka hasn’t been made there for more than a decade. It’s made in Latvia, which is part of the European Union. The owner moved it out of Russia precisely because of his opposition to President Vladimir Putin and the values of his party. In addition, the company that owns Stoli — and is based in Luxembourg — has stated publicly that it stands “strong and proud” with the global LGBT community “against the attitude and actions of the Russian government.”

Clearly, not only does boycotting Stoli hurt a company that actually supports us, but it has about as much impact on Putin’s policies as boycotting borscht!

Most important of all, many Russian LGBT leaders — and LGBT activists in Latvia — have advised that boycotting Stoli is NOT helpful. They’ve said the same thing about an Olympics boycott, as they believe the Games may offer an unprecedented opportunity to impact public opinion among a Russian populace that overwhelmingly opposes LGBT rights.

Calls to boycott Stoli and the Olympics can attract media attention or capture the popular LGBT community’s imagination. But ideas that appeal at first glance to many of us in the U.S. may not actually advance the cause of LGBT equality in Russia. In fact, they could have the opposite effect.”

– Lorri L. Jean, CEO of L.A.’s Gay & Lesbian Center, in “Think First, Act Second to Support LGBT Equality in Russia,” an op-ed she wrote for Huffington Post

 

[Editor's note: In the spirit of full disclosure, Queerty and our sister site GayCities are producing The Original Stoli Guy program with SPI, which makes and distributes Stoli Premium Vodka worldwide and is headquartered in Luxembourg in Western Europe.]

By:           EDITORS
On:           Aug 15, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 48 Comments
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      Obviously, the CEO of LA’s GLBT center receives money from Stoli. Her comments are full of half-truths and misinformation. The company continues to purchase all of its raw materials in Russia, and until 2 months ago *lauded* its status as a “Russian” Company. Just because its bottled in Latvia doesnt make it Latvian any more than Coca Cola is Georgian simply because its bottled in Atlanta.

      Stoli thinks that a little rainbow advertising and throwing money at big centers – and Queerty – is enough to get GLBT support. WRONG. The FACT is that GLBT organizers in Russia have all said that the economic boycott IS working because it has rought attention to the issue and made Russian business people – and the politicians they pay off – very nervous.

      Lorri is simply 100% wrong and playing the role of shill for Stolichnaya.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sparkyu1
      Sparkyu1

      Stoli’s really getting their money’s worth out of you, Queerty

      Aug 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Sparkyu1: Indeed, in the interest of disclosure I see you’re still too spineless to put a name to this pandering sycophantic drivel.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Randy
      Randy

      http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2013/08/russian-vodka-boycott-working-whether-you-it-or-not/68136/#.Ug0uVSf9Ic4.facebook

      suck all the dicks Queerty, not that that’s a bad thing. The CEO has acknowledged since this article that he will be donating millions to pro LGBT rights campaigns IN Russia, where the company has been silent up till now, just as this article predicted. Added to the fact that Stoli has admitted to having a distillery with several hundred workers in Russia, and that many of their raw materials are from the mother country, I’d say this boycott, or at least the press surrounding it, have had a positive impact.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Randy
      Randy

      @Randy: I’m sorry, I was rash, I take back the dick-sucking comment, that was juvenile.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas
      Thomas

      If Boycotts don’t work, Queerty…why did you delete a comment that called for a boycott against you?

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Randy: That’s fantastic news, also never apologise for being passionate about defending your right to exist.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ncman
      ncman

      The boycott is not a Stoli boycott. It is a boycott of ALL Russian vodkas.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Medchi
      Medchi

      You need to check out SPI’s website before claiming that they have no presence in Russia. They have two distilleries. They sell several labels of vodka in Russia. They operate a large farm in Russia. Whether or not a boycott of Stoli will result in any significant changes to politics in Russia is still up for debate, but to make inaccurate statements, no matter what disclosure is provided, is irresponsible journalism.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ncman
      ncman

      @Medchi: LOLOLOLOLOLOL You used the word journalism in a Queerty comment. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      Aug 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @Thomas: So your first reply to anyone disagreeing with you is to accuse them of being paid off?

      BrightestYoungThings was right, you all sound like creationists, trying to peddle your opinions by attempting to discredit everyone else.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @Randy: We already knew they still had a distillery there. The only one left after they’ve been steadily pulling out of Russian production for years. Why aren’t you going after Pepsi, which has 17 distilleries in Russia and hires more than 30,000 people? Oh, is it because giving up soda would actually be something you’d have to work at?

      You’re all just hypocrites going after a company that has supported us for decades.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @Danny: Wow, so you go and make an offensive graphic on Facebook. Good for you, you’re such a man.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      Is this the same Lorri Jean who was one of the leaders of the No on 8 campaign in California in 2008 who took a month-long vacation in the middle of the campaign?

      Aug 15, 2013 at 9:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BigWoody
      BigWoody

      Stoli’s Latvian bottling plant is in the city of Riga.
      Ethnic Russians make up 40% of the population of Riga.
      By comparison, 27% of Latvia’s total population are ethnic Russians.

      ________________________________________________________________________________

      According to Wikipedia; “Most people in Latvia have prejudices against homosexuality, usually rooted in social conservatism and lingering preconceptions dating from the Soviet period. Anti-gay sentiments have recently been increasingly exploited by various religious groups and POLITICIANS. Lesbians and gays are often attacked in the streets or in meeting places and can make no criminal charge against their attackers.

      ________________________________________________________________________________

      “So for the past 12 years, Stoli hasn’t been a Russian company. Rather, it’s owned by SPI, … is headquartered in LUXEMBOURG” -BYT
      AND:
      “A court in the Hauge ruled that the Stoli brand in the Netherlands, LUXEMBURG, and Belgium did belong to the Russian Federation. So, it could be possible that Putin could be selling his zombie Stoli vodka in those three countries soon” -BYT
      SO… only the evil Stoli will be sold where the good Stoli is headquartered?

      ________________________________________________________________________________

      The boycott serves a very real purpose by alerting the world and the Russian people how dangerous Putin’s fascist control is becoming.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kenover
      Kenover

      Why do you persist in these blatant lies and misrepresentations? Why not just admit that you’re greedy? This is a complete load of crap. And Lorri Jean is a joke — a lesbian Uncle Tom, if you will. Her position of “Don’t rock the boat” and “Don’t stir up trouble” is totally unacceptable. Why shouldn’t we boycott Russian products, the Olympics, and Russian itself? Lorri Jean is comfortably ensconced in LA while Russian LGBT people are being persecuted and murdered. What has SHE done to help them? Furthermore, SPI Group (Soyuzplodimport) is controlled by a Russian oligarch and owns farms in Russia that produce its raw ingredients and markets Stolichnaya vodka as “Russian Vodka” everywhere but the USA. SPI GROUP IS ONLY INCORPORATED IN LUXEMBOURG FOR TAX REASONS — like hundreds of other shady corporations. It has absolutely NO operations there. Come clean, stop the lying, and get your facts straight, Queerty.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @Sterling Ericsson: Yeah, that is getting old. Someone leaving a comment on the other thread all but accused me of the same. So apparently if you don’t agree with the boycott, you are automatically on Stoli’s payroll. Ridiculous!

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @BigWoody: So…vodka is more important than the Olympics? All the calls for a boycott of the Winter Olympics held in Russia are nothing compared to the calls for vodka boycott? And by your logic, we should boycott Starbucks because of what people like Michelle Bachman and the religious right say about gays in the US.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      I have not read any comment heretofore, nor do I care to. Nor do I care about that woman’s 1970s blue blazer and chunk-ay haircut. However, I speak for myself and as someone who has loved Mother Russia in the past but thinks it’s a piece of shit sewagehole now, boycott, boycott, boycott! Also, I just drank vodka tonight but it was Polish. F u Russia.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @Kenover: Ok…what are YOU doing to help? Boycotting vodka?? And your assumptions are a little out of line. Just because she doesn’t want to hope on to some do nothing boycott of liquor does not mean she and other like her are not engaging in efforts to support oppression Russian members of the LGBT community. And that’s right I said “do nothing.” A lot of people have fancied themselves experts on Russian politics overnight. There are more than a few highly regarded Russian LGBT activists who are recommending that international efforts are focused somewhere other than mixing your drink with a different vodka manufacturer.

      I can honestly say I’ve never been Queerty’s biggest supporter. But attacking them for their incidental affiliation with SPI is just plain weak. I’ve yet to get one coherent and logical response to what the proponents truly hope to accomplish with this boycott. I’ve second guessed boycotts before and after some personal research, I’ve found a few that worked. And nearly 100% of the time the reason they worked because their target was the direct offender.

      In this case, not only is SPI not the direct offender but there are many in the current Russian political power structure who would be more than happy to see SPI go bankrupt.

      This is an example of action for action’s sake. This is throwing kindling in the path of a flood. No matter how angrily you do so, it’s not gonna make much of a difference. There are REAL actions that can be taken and pursued by anyone genuinely concerned with the state of affairs in Russia. This is not it. Whether solely for commercial purposes or due to a legitimate respect and appreciation for the LGBT community, Stoli has provided past and ongoing support to LGBT causes and outreach. I gave a similar example to this earlier, but here’s a more direct one. The government of the State of Texas is easily a virulently homophobic government. Of course, it is not Russia…yet. How many of you are typing responses or use Dell or Apple computers? Or drink Dr. Pepper? Why not boycott these companies since you believe so passionately that this is the path to bringing about change?

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @Kenover: You are wrong on so many different points. It’s fine to be going after the Olympic organizers and the Russian government, that’s what LGBT groups in Russia and Latvia have been asking for for weeks.

      I can ask you the same question. What have you done for the LGBT community in Russia except for go after a pro-LGBT company with a boycott that only serves to harm the LGBT communities there?

      SPI Group has always been based in Luxembourg. That’s where it was always set up because it was selling alcohol in all the places there, including the Baltic states. It has plenty of operations there.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @BigWoody: By attacking a pro-LGBT company that Putin dislikes and would love to see nothing more than be brought down? Yes, i’m sure we’re totally showing Putin what for by harming one of his political enemies.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @tookietookie: I’m sure the Russian LGBT community is so happy that you are calling their home a “shit sewagehole” and saying “F U” to them.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 10:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ncman
      ncman

      Boycotting ALL RUSSIAN VODKAS, not just Stoli is being done in order to get media attention for this issue. And, IT IS WORKING. No one in the media was talking about the anti-gay atrocities going on in Russia prior to the boycott. But, now I see the issue in the media every day. So, the boycott is doing what it is intended to do.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 11:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel-Reader
      Daniel-Reader

      She needs to step down. She is too incompetent or too delusional to realize that Latvia is not a good place for GLBT people either. Being part of the European Union doesn’t mean it’s somehow magically a place that uphold human rights. She is also too stupid to realize that the vodka also serves as a metaphor.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @ncman: Except that you and I both know that the focus was never “All Russian Vodkas”, even if that was the claim. The focus was always on Stoli. Stoli is the only one anyone ever talks about.

      “No one in the media was talking about the anti-gay atrocities going on in Russia prior to the boycott.”

      See, this is the comment I see around most often and it is the biggest lie, having already been debunked a while ago. The news cycle was already ramping up to cover what was going on in Russia because of other events and because of the atrocities themselves. This boycott largely has a negligible effect on the overall coverage of Russia and, in many ways, interfered with the coverage, because a lot of the focus now is on the boycott itself and not on Russia and the Olympics as it should be.

      Furthermore, as has been stated by others (namely, BrightYoungThings), it doesn’t matter if the boycott was effective or not. Throwing an LGBT ally under the bus for political gain and attention is called scapegoating and it is one of the most evil things you can do to another person.

      There’s a reason why it’s a common tactic for the Republican party.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @Daniel-Reader: There are plenty of places that aren’t good for LGBT people. Heck, there are plenty of places in the US that aren’t good for us either.

      But whether the places are good or bad for us has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that attacking a LGBT supporting company from those places is nonsensical. We should be supporting and advocating for more companies and organizations in these places to support the LGBT community. The more we can get, the more likely we are to start changing the minds of the people.

      Because that’s who we need to really change. Not Putin, not the Russian government, but the Russian people. They are the ones that are 80% against us and without them changing, Russia won’t change.

      Aug 15, 2013 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      I would like to know what action Jean and other “LGBT leaders” think would be appropriate.
      So far all I’ve heard is “send gay athletes to the Olympics and have them come back with medals”
      Yes. This will no doubt completely change the Russians long-standing, deep seeded fear and hatred of LGBT. No amount of rationalization has done it but seeing someone twirling on
      ice will certainly convince them and immediately gay rights will ring out throughout Russia.
      The fact is, even if a gay athlete wins a medal in every category, the Russians will rationalize it as “they must have cheated”, “they took steroids”, or even “this is the work of Satan”.
      But of course, the people propagandizing this garbage already know that. They too, only care about money. I don’t want to hear their PR. Either suggest something substantial or get out of the way.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 1:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrandoPolo
      BrandoPolo

      @Sterling Ericsson: A pretend boycott of a pro-LGBT multinational company like Stoli is simply a distraction to make white gays feel liberal and inclusive while they put “WHITES ONLY” or “BLACKS ONLY” or “no blacks, no Asians” in their social media profiles and don’t say a peep about the ongoing bigotry and segregation in the gay community.

      This anti-Stoli slacktivism is a complete joke. Imagine if straight bars had “Asians only” nights or “black hip-hop” nights as often as Jim Crow gay bars do. The world would be up in arms. You can flip through a gay magazine like Out or The Advocate and not see one model who isn’t white. I can’t remember the last time Andrew Christian featured prominently a dude whose not white or a white-looking Asian. Go to a gay bar in West Hollywood and TRY to find bar staff outside of the doormen who aren’t white — you won’t. Blacks are good enough to work the door because they’re scaaaaaary, but apparently they can’t bartend. Don’t even get me started on mainstream gay porn, where minorities are “ghettoized” into segregated studios.

      No, Olympic athletes should not take the gay boycott of Russia seriously, until gay people start taking the discrimination amongst themselves seriously. The hypocrisy is stunning.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 1:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @MK Ultra: And yet you somehow think that a boycott of a pro-LGBT company is somehow going to change the Russian peoples’ minds? Heck, that a boycott of Russian anything would change their minds?

      No, what we need to be doing is building up support in Russia among the populace, to explain to them that gay people are just normal people, to show them that we’ve always been there and we’ve always been just like them.

      That’s how it was done here in the US and it’s what really started getting the ball rolling in recent years with DOMA being overturned and same-sex marriage being passed in several states.

      It is with the people that one needs to start.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 2:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Sterling Ericsson: Weird coincidence, your IP address matches the transactions WordPress handled for the post of the ACTUAL ARTICLE author “Editors”, so which Queerty writer are you.

      Also that explains the sycophantic pleb like ramblings you’ve wrote thus far, frankly I’m surprised you didn’t just delete any dissenting posts, why resort to a new account.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 3:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • orrine
      orrine

      Guys, I’m from Russia and Stoli boycott campaign really doesn’t have much impact. For the most part nobody knows about it. Boycotting Olympic games would have some effect, poeple just would be more angry about arrogant ‘West’ who wants to destroy Russia, that’s all. It’s nothing new, we lived under the same notion whole time Soviet Union existed, Putin resurrected it, the only difference is traditionalistm insted of communism.
      I think some forms of demonstration of support to LGBT at Olympics would make more for equality cause then boycott.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 3:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff B
      Geoff B

      As someone who manages a bar for a living (a straight sports bar in the Midwest), I’d like to make a couple points. First off, Queerty, stop referring to Stoli as “Stoli Premium Vodka”. Stoli hasn’t been a premium brand for years. I’ve worked in bars where it’s not even a call brand, but a well brand. Second, I get the mindset behind the boycott, I don’t agree with it (although I don’t offer it as an upsell anymore even though I’m required to carry it due to corporate rules).they have gone on record with their disagreement and even if they do have facilities in Russia, this law is pretty new. and it’s hard for a huge company to quickly relocate and divest their holdings that quickly. I’m not saying boycotting is a misguided idea, but maybe this target is. As we now know, Olympic sponsors such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds are not pulling their sponsorship. These are much more worthy targets of our anger. They, unlike Stoli are not burdened by geography and could have stood behind us, by pulling their advertising dollars but chose not to. I’m not gonna judge anyone for their choice to boycott or not, but just ask that you consider the fact that there are better targets and that they get called out just as much as Stoli has been. For now, I’ll be washing down my Wendy’s (not McDonald’s)with Jack and Pepsi (not Coke).

      Aug 16, 2013 at 4:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff B
      Geoff B

      And while I’m on my soapbox, why is no one mentioning Smirnoff? Granted, it’s headache inducing swill, and no one should drink it anyway, but still……

      Aug 16, 2013 at 4:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sterling Ericsson
      Sterling Ericsson

      @2eo: I actually have no idea why my IP address, if you can actually see it, would be saying that. My IP should be directing to Lincoln, Nebraska, where I live and am right now.

      And i’m the one using my real name here. Feel free to look me up on Facebook or elsewhere.

      I assume you’re just making this up in the first place as some sort of attempt to discredit me.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 4:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • erikwm
      erikwm

      Right.

      Because gobbling down Russian vodka and cheering on the Russian government’s staging of the Olympics is a much better strategy to effect change in Russia.

      We’re dumping Stoli into the sewers for the same reason people abroad attack McDonald’s and KFC restaurants when there’s anti-American sentiment — Stoli is the most visible Russian brand in the United States. It’s symbolic. It gets the attention of our elected officials. Because we HAVE elected officials that answer to the people.

      The situation in Russia was getting virtually no media attention until the boycott. Now the media and leaders all around the world are talking about it.

      The boycott is working.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 7:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jared MacBride
      Jared MacBride

      Ms. Jean was one of the clowns who warned us that challenging Prop 8 in court would never be successful and could only harm the community. Based on that stupidity alone I am uninterested in her opinions.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 7:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston

      I just want to know when will anybody boycott any of the gas companies that use gas from the Middle East??????? Anyone??? Oh, that’s right the people over there are not Christian and white…and everyone wants to keep driving their car, because then they would be personally affected by a boycott of gasoline from the Middle East.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 7:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      1) LGBT Inc loved alcohol and tobacco companies and their donations. How about don’t drink because it’s not good for you despite how LGBT culture pushes the idea to fit in and be somebody cool you have to engage in a partying lifestyle and always go to clubs?

      2) For as much as Jean’s million-dollar center brags about how much they raise, their celeb connections, and all they supposedly do to help people, I reached out for help several times and never get any replies. I guess I have to be a homeless teen for them to play on the sympathies of donors.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 8:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Halston
      Halston

      @jeff4justice: Jeff, you forgot to mention in your first point to stop doing drugs too.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 8:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BigWoody
      BigWoody

      @TheMarc: So… did I comment that vodka is more important than the Olympics? I believe most people understand that the LGBT community is not powerful enough to convince the USA or the world to boycott the Olympics. We do have the ability to keep Russia’s policies in the news by boycotting any and all of their exports or raw material exports.
      And by my logic, a more accurate analogy than Starbucks/Michelle Bachman would be Anita Bryant and Florida Orange Juice. (see Wikipedia)
      Bryant’s 1977 campaign against the gay community galvanized her opponents and we boycotted Florida orange juice, her most visible employer. Gay bars all over North America took screwdrivers off their drink menus.
      In 1979, two years after the boycott began, she was dropped by the Florida Citrus Commission as their spokesperson.
      In 1980, she divorced her husband. He stated that gay people put her out of business and destroyed her career.
      She was no longer booked for advertising work for Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Holiday Inn or Tupperware. Even some fundamentalist audiences and venues shunned her after her divorce.

      _____________________________________________________________________________

      @Sterling Ericsson: You missed my point. We’re NOT “totally showing Putin what for” we are attempting to sway public opinion and gay supportive nations to think poorly of Putin’s anti-LGBT witchhunt and to exert pressure on their oligarchy to respect human rights of all people.

      _____________________________________________________________________________

      I WILL NOT be watching the Sochi Olympics. I do not drink alcohol so if TheMarc or Sterling Ericsson could please recommend other Russian or semi-Russian products with as much visibility as Stoli I would boycott those products.

      _____________________________________________________________________________

      @erikwm: Well said.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 10:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Gee, what a shock, an establishment gay leader telling the gay community to sit down, shut up and be quiet….

      Kind of like what they tried to do when the grass roots wanted to fight against DOMA, DADT, and for marriage.

      They’re ALWAYS wanting everybody to just shut up and they are always wrong.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @BigWoody: As far as the boycott, would a call for a boycott of the Olympics not generate just as much if not more attention?? Geoff B actually made a pretty good point regarding more viable boycott targets. Namely sponsors of the Winter Olympics. Also you mentioned that the LGBT community is not powerful enough to convince the USA or the world to boycott the Olympics. So…explain again how this vodka boycott is going to work then? And then please explain how boycotting Stoli will work.

      And as far as my analogy, please try again. Unless I’m mistaken and Stoli employees the entire Russian government. Anita Bryant was a representative/spokesperson for the Florida Citrus Commission. The only affiliation SPI and Russia have is an address, and it’s a questionable affiliation at best. Stoli is being attacked for being of Russian origin, that’s it. Not for anti-gay policies or the anti-gay beliefs of their CEO or founder. But for being Russian. We might as well as start researching companies owned, operated and founded in the US by Russians and boycotting them too for all the sense this boycott makes.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BigWoody
      BigWoody

      @TheMarc: You ask for an explanation as to how a vodka/Stoli boycott will work? Really? Read my comments again, slowly, and you may find the answer you seek.
      You may have not understood my analogy so let me try to elaborate.
      Stoli = Florida orange juice (products).
      Russia = Anita Bryant (bad people).
      To try to make the ‘bad people’ stop being mean to others, I stop buying their ‘products’.
      Directly or indirectly, the ‘products’ supply some amount of MONEY to the ‘bad people’.
      Even though the ‘products’ are not being mean to others, they must be sacrificed.
      With time, the products will recover. Anita Bryant did not.
      Time will tell if shaming Russia by keeping a boycott in the news will be of value.

      ______________________________

      Russia and Germany killed thousands of gay people in the past along with millions of Jews, and not enough people cared to speak up.
      I prefer taking money out of the pockets of Russian farm workers producing the raw materials for Stoli than allow gays to be killed.
      I prefer taking money out of the pockets of bottling-factory workers in Riga, Latvia (where 40% of the population is Russian) than allow gays to be jailed or beaten.

      Does this explanation help, TheMarc, or shall I draw pictures for you?
      As of now the Stoli boycott is believed to be the most viable option for the average gay to effect change.
      You have yet to suggest an alternative Russian or semi-Russian product with a similar global footprint that I can boycott…

      Aug 16, 2013 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BigWoody
      BigWoody

      @TheMarc: By the way, CALLING for an Olympic boycott or boycotting sponsors are not viable alternatives. Neither option takes money out of the pockets of Russians. The athletes are trained and the sponsor contracts are signed and paid, no backing out now.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @BigWoody: I never like it when someone attempts to personally attack me or insult my intelligence to attempt to make a point. Especially when that point is a weak one. You want to engage me in debate, then focus on your points; like an adult. I don’t play with children.

      Now as far as your statement…Your analogy is still as illogical as it was to begin with. You’re suggesting that by bankrupting Stoli, the Russian government will change it’s mind. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Again, let ME say this as slowly as I can. The Russian government…could…give…a….flip…about…Stoli. Originally, your assertion was that the reason for this boycott was to bring recognition and focus to the suffering of LGBT Russians, not to have a financial impact. “The boycott serves a very real purpose by alerting the world and the Russian people how dangerous Putin’s fascist control is becoming.” Now, based on your carefully spaced out explanation, it’s to hurt Stoli which will in turn hurt Russia. My assertion is that is that is an ineffective way to bring change in Russia. You keep pointing to the Anita Bryant example. Why? This situation is not only much more complex, but a completely different type of scenario all together. Simple enough?

      You speak in these grand and lofty terms referring to suffering of Jews and gays in Russia and Germany and the inaction of the people of that era. You fail to understand that there was action taken by some in those initial stages(i.e. Neville Chamberlain.) Actions that accomplished nothing but allowing those undertaking them to hold their heads high with a false sense of moral fulfillment because they “did something.” IF they had actually taken the time to evaluate the situation and dedicate their resources to more direct and effective responses, perhaps the suffering experienced by so many at that time would not have been as severe. Just “doing something” is not enough. Taking an aspirin to cure cancer is “doing something.”

      And about this “viable option” business. How many senators, mayors of Russian sister cities in the US, congressional representatives, etc. have you emailed, written or called about this? Have you signed any petitions? Have you researched the plight of Russian members of the LGBT community and heard from their own lips the kind of aid they need from their international LGBT brothers and sisters? Or did you figure on your own that the best option was to boycott a liquor company that has up to this point and in the past been quite friendly to the LGBT community. When you start sacrificing friends with as little regard as you seem to have for doing so, you’ll wake up to find you no longer have any. I’m all for action. But action that makes sense.

      Aug 16, 2013 at 11:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      It’s funny how desperate the folks attacking the idea of a boycott sound. Why are they SO invested in NOT boycotting?

      Aug 17, 2013 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheMarc
      TheMarc

      @Cam: Ya know, I can respect the need for everyone in this thread to express their opinion of this boycott; one way or the other. I may not agree with them or the reasons behind their opinions, but I certainly desire an open exchange of ideas. That’s how a lot of great things happen.

      What I can’t respect is someone like you who claims to have no opinion on the boycott constantly questioning why I and others are against it. So, why are you so invested in figuring out why I’m so invested? I’ve made my opinion clear in both stories directly related to this boycott that have been posted in the past week or so. I don’t agree with something, I speak out. That’s me. You apparently like to back-handedly attack other people’s opinions without expressing one of your own.

      Aug 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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