Stoli vodka pledges $300,000 towards programme to develop global LGBT leadership

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The group which owns Stoli Vodka has teamed up with an LGBT centre in order to invest in global LGBT leaders.

Stoli has donated $300,000 (£182,000) to the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Leadership Learn, Act Build, programme, which helps potential LGBT leaders to effectively advocate for equality.

The fund will go towards training the potential leaders to build strong organisations and to fight against action which endangers or discriminates against LGBT people.

The president of Stoli Group USA, said: “Our position at Stoli is clear. We stand with the LGBT community in the fight for equality, and are proud to be working with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to make our joint vision possible.

“Through our strategic partnership we hope to harness the power of our global community, cultivating leaders on a local level in the US to create meaningful change throughout the world.”

Stolichnaya, owned by SPI Group, one of the most popular vodkas in the United States, last year joined the battle against the controversial anti-gay “propaganda” laws in Russia with a worldwide message of support for the LGBT community.

Stoli said its message was in response to calls in the United States by gay and lesbian groups for a boycott of Russian products, including Stolichnaya and other vodkas.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law which bans the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” to minors last June, causing an international outcry ahead of February’s Sochi Winter Olympics in the country.