Gay-rights activists pour out vodka in front of Russian consulate

Aug. 1, 2013 at 10:25 AM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Protesters dumped bottles of vodka onto the street in front of the Russian Consulate in New York City to protest new anti-gay laws in Russia.

Dozens of gay-rights activists gathered Wednesday for the demonstration, which was backed by RUSA LGBT, a U.S. gay rights group for Russian speakers, and Queer Nation, a New York anti-homophobia organization, RIA Novosti reported.

"We've received an appeal from 23 lesbian and gay activists in Russia that have asked us to do exactly what we're doing," said Queer Nation co-founder Alan Klein. "Boycott Russian products, boycott the [Sochi, Russia] Olympics and keep the pressure up."

Numerous gay bars in the United States have removed the brand from their shelves after new Russian legislation banned "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations," including gay pride events and giving children information about homosexuality. The legislation also bans gay adoptions.

Bars and restaurants across the globe are now joining the cause, CNNMoney reported.

The Laird Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, asked people to sign petitions and contact their representatives, and the Pride Cafe in Newcastle, England, tweeted they would serve no Russian vodka.

"Boycotts helped end apartheid, spurred the civil rights movement, and curbed potential atrocities," Seattle nightclub R Place posted online. "Losing a little revenue pales in comparison to the suffering tied to discrimination, imprisonment and even death."

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