Chicago gay bar ‘Sidetrack’ boycotts Russian Vodka

One of Chicago’s most popular gay bars is joining bars across the United States and boycotting Stoli Vodka, over new anti-gay laws in Russia.

Sidetrack made the announcement Wednesday on its Facebook page.

It stated that “starting immediately we will not sell Stoli or any other Russian products” at their bar.

As of Thursday evening, other gay bars including Elixir Lounge, Halsted’s Bar and Grill, Replay and Hydrate have also joined in the boycott.  Other bars in Hollywood, San Francisco, Toronto and other big cities have joined the boycott.

This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed legislation banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations,” including providing children with information on homosexuality and holding gay pride events.   He also banned the adoption of children by same-sex couples. In June, the bill was overwhelmingly passed by Russia’s parliament.

The latest act claims to protect children from “distress,” according to the Kremlin’s website.

Stolichnaya Vodka, the makers of Stoli Vodka issued a statement supporting the LGBT community:

We fully support and endorse your objectives to fight against prejudice in Russia. In the past decade, SPI has been actively advocating in favor of freedom, tolerance and openness in society, standing very passionately on the side of the LGBT community and will continue to support any effective initiative in that direction.
Sincerely yours,
Val Mendeleev
Chief Executive Officer

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