Ku Bar joins campaign to ‘dump Russian vodka’ over anti-gay laws

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Ku Bar, a gay bar in Soho London, has joined the battle against the controversial anti-gay “propaganda” laws in Russia with an advertisement echoing Dan Savage’s message to “dump russian vodka”.

The company posted the advertisement on facebook this morning sporting its new “anti-Putin” slogan.

Alongside a group of shirtless male models, the advertisement reads: “We serve a range of non-Russian vodka.”

It also echoes Dan Savage’s message this week to “dump Russian vodka”.

President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial law last month banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” toward minors, a move that has been criticised as part of a broader crackdown on Russia’s gay community.

Four Dutch tourists shooting a film about gay rights in Russia were arrested earlier this month, the first foreigners to be detained under the new law.

Gary Henshaw of Ku Bar said to PinkNews: “Gay Rights do not exist in Russia and more recently we are hearing stories of persecution and even murder committed against gay persons.

“Draconian laws are being passed by Putin and his cronies. Yet amidst all this Russia seeks to assert its place among the democratic super powers of the world.

“We must show solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters. One thing I can do is to resolve to boycott Russian Brands. Ku sells Smirnoff, British, Absolut, Swedish and Grey Goose, French Vodkas. I totally support the ban.”

Stolinyacha also recently joined the battle against anti-gay laws in Russia, with a message on its facebook page which reads: “Stolichnaya Premium Vodka stands strong & proud with the global LGBT community against the actions and beliefs of the Russian government.”

Mr Mendeleev, the Stolinyacha chief executive, said he was “upset and angry,” and “has always been, and continues to be a fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community.”

Dan Savage, in his polemical blog post wrote: “Stoli is a Russian vodka. Do not drink Russian vodka. Do not buy Russian vodka. Ask your bartender at your favorite bar—gay or otherwise—to dump Stoli and dump Russian vodka.”

Last week, speaking exclusively to PinkNews, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg urged Russia to protect the rights of LGBT citizens following concerns about gay athletes and spectators attending the 2014 Winter Olympics.

He said: “Those days should be long behind us now and for those countries and those governments and regimes who don’t see it that way I think they have to move with the times.”