Aug. 1 - A growing number of gay bar owners across the U.S. are vowing to stop pouring Russian vodka, in protest of new laws in Russia targeting homosexuals. Mana Rabiee reports.
From New York to San Fransisco, gay bars across the U.S. are refusing to serve Russian vodka. Their owners are protesting new laws in Russia that target homosexuals, including one that puts anyone voicing support for gay people at risk of prosecution. These San Fransisco bar owners say the ban is meant to send a strong message to the Russian government. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALFREDO DIAZ, LOCAL BAR OWNER, SAYING: "We hope that the business leaders in Russia take notice that they are in our crosshairs and we are not going to stand by and allow people in Russia to endure the treatment they've been going through." (SOUNDBITE) (English) RICHARD GROSSI, LOCAL BAR OWNER, SAYING: "The world will not stand for human rights abuses. Especially for a big powerful country like Russia." The boycott focuses heavily on Stolichnaya vodka, all though the company says it supports gay rights. Organizers of the ban hope Russia, which is set to host the Winter Olympics next year, will rethink its gay politics. Otherwise, its U.S. customer base for vodka may run dry.