Russian anti-gay laws impact Olympics, vodka sales

AP News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2013 4:13 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Russian vodka and the Winter Olympics in Sochi are the prime targets as gays in the United States and elsewhere propose boycotts and other tactics to convey their outrage over Russia's intensifying campaign against gay-rights activism.

At many gay bars across North America, owners have joined a campaign to stop selling Russian vodka — notably the popular brand Stolichnaya. Simultaneously, activists are pressing the International Olympic Committee and NBC, which holds U.S. broadcasting rights for Sochi, to be more aggressive in criticizing the new laws.

So far, there have been only scattered calls for a full-fledged boycott of the Sochi Games. But there is active discussion of how to convey gay-rights messages once the competition begins — including gestures by individual athletes and perhaps some sort of gay-pride parade.