New York: Gay bar takes part in anti-homophobia protest outside Russian consulate by pouring vodka down drain
Vodka has been seen being poured down the drain outside Russia’s consulate in New York this afternoon as another gay bar boycotts Russia’s national drink in protest at the country’s homophobic stance.
Bottles of Stoli were gripped with disdain and emptied by staff from Boxers, a gay sports bar in the city, outside the Russian consulate on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Around 100 people took part in Wednesday’s protest.
The bottles of vodka were donated by Boxers, situated on 37 W 20th St, Manhattan, who earlier had confirmed they would no longer be selling Stoli.
“As the largest LGBT seller of Stoli in the region, we feel that this symbolic step is of great importance in showing our solidarity,” said Robert Fluet, co-owner of the Boxers NYC bars.
Over the past week members of the LGBT community in Britain and the US have urged for a boycott of products from Russia – predominately vodka – in order to highlight the deteriorating legal and security situation of LGBT in the country.
The 2014 Winter Olympics takes place in the Russian city of Sochi next year.
A petition urging the UK Government to strongly advise the British Olympic Association to boycott the Winter Olympics has attracted more than 9,200 signatures.
However, the Russian LGBT Network, representing LGBT people in Russia, announced on its website that it was opposed to a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics – arguing participation is an important way of highlighting injustice.
“While we value diversity in approaches and welcome all efforts that forward justice and equality, we will contribute the work of the LGBT Network to the promotion of proactive participation in the Games instead of a boycott,” it said.
Meanwhile other LGBT campaigners such as Russia’s Nikolai Alekseev, along with gay US former Olympic diver Greg Louganis also believe a boycott is counter-productive.
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