Conflict & Justice

LGBT Activists Ditch Vodka to Protest Russian Legislation

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People carry posters denouncing Russia's policies on homosexuality at the Christopher Street Day (CSD) parade in Berlin, June 22, 2013. Berlin annually hosts one of Europe's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender street parades, celebrating a diversity of lifestyles and denouncing homophobia. The Russian placard reads: "Tolya's and Vera's two mums are both engineers." REUTERS/Thomas Peter (GERMANY - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS) - RTX10WXG

Credit:

Reuters

Russia's Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko announced that Olympic athletes would be subject to the recently signed law banning "gay propaganda." He said Olympic athletes who speak in public about what the Russian government calls "non-traditional sexual orientations" will be held accountable. That could mean a fine, jail time and deportation.

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The statement directly contradicted the International Olympic Committee's assurances regarding the measure. This has drawn the ire of LGBT rights groups and sympathizers worldwide, with widespread protests and some boycotting Russian vodkas such as Stolichnaya.

That is, until Stolichnaya pointed out that the vodka it sells in the US isn't made in Russia, and promised to fund the fight against the ban.

So, whither activists?

Host Carol Hills speaks to Andre Banks, the Executive Director and Co-Founder of All Out. It's an activist group that promotes freedom of expression for every sexual orientation worldwide.