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Gay bars in London and across the UK have called for a show of solidarity against Russia’s anti-gay laws on the eve of the the World Athletics Championships in Moscow by boycotting Russian vodka.
They’re also boycotting all Russian vodka in solidarity with Russia’s gay community. Other cities like New York and San Francisco have followed suit.
Gary Henshaw is the owner of Ku Bar. He told euronews:
‘‘So that the ripple effect is growing, and you know at the end of the day if the whole world stops buying Russian products, they’re going to feel that.’‘
The bar’s customers are also fully behind the boycott:
“I think it will draw attention to the problem, but I’m not sure it will resolve the issue altogether. But it definitely will draw attention and raise people’s awareness of problem the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual) population is facing in Russia today.’‘
Protestors are now targetting the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which Russia is due to host.
Russian investigators said in May that a young man had been tortured and killed after revealing that he was gay.
On Wednesday, gay British broadcaster Stephen Fry published an open letter to British premier David Cameron, IOC President Jacques Rogge and London Olympics chief Sebastian Coe.
He compared the Sochi games to the Nazi-run 1936 Berlin summer Olympics, which he said were a “stain on the Five Rings” and urged the IOC to take a firm stance against the “barbaric, fascist laws that Putin has pushed through the Duma (Russian parliament)”.