Let us keep in the forefront of our minds that real people in the LGBT community are being brutalized by their countrymen with the support of their government in Russia and around the world. The latest anti-LGBT laws in Russia reflect the views of 2/3 of the Russian people, not just Mr. Putin and his party. This is a huge human rights issue that needs serious people to address it in a meaningful way. We should not forget that DOMA was only recently struck down, leaving us with no moral high ground to stand on.
The Olympics will take place in Sochi. They are not going to move it no matter how wrong the Russian laws are nor how much pressure the IOC receives. Planning demonstrations should be the focus of the energy of LGBT activists, not boycotts of the games. Most of us will not be travelling to Sochi, so we should be planning demonstrations wherever we are.
Mr. Savage is wrong about the ownership of Stoli, as has already been pointed out. I support symbolic gestures such as boycotts when they make sense. Boycotting non-Russian vodka (with Russian sounding names) makes the boycotters look ignorant and has the real potential to hurt our allies and innocent bystanders. As others have pointed out there are other Russian exports that would make sense to boycott, such as oil.
Sending a united message to ALL countries that condone the abuse of human rights is our moral responsibility. Boycotting the wrong product is not just slacktivism; it is misguided and potentially dangerous as it may result in more brutality.
What is the end goal here, getting on YouTube for dumping Stoli in the street or actually working to prevent violence of our brothers and sisters?
I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who feels this way. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/21/opinio…