Stoli has no LGBT non-discrimination policy “because so far we didn’t need that”

In an odd twist for a company that has been claiming loudly for several weeks that it’s more pro-gay than Harvey Milk, Stolichnaya vodka’s CEO, Val Mendeleev, just revealed that the company has no written policy protecting its gay and trans employees against discrimination.

Why not?

Because up until now they haven’t needed one, say the CEO.

That’s what the CEO Mendeleev told Michelangelo Signorile this week on his SiriusXM radio show.

Stoli found itself at the center of a gay boycott this past week after worldwide ire erupted over Russia’s draconian clampdown on gay and trans people in that country, and reports of increased violence against gays.

It’s a long interview, but the pertinent part comes up at 8:19 into the audio.  Signorile asks Mendeleev whether Stoli has a non-discrimination policy covering gay and trans people:

STOLI’S MENDELEEV: In the US, we have a company that’s just been started a few weeks ago, a few months ago.  And they’re putting together all the policies.  In Luxembourg we do not have this written policy, but everyone knows the rule.

SIGNORILE: But why not have a written policy?

STOLI’S MENDELEEV: Because so far we didn’t need that. We just didn’t have this issue so far in Luxembourg or anywhere else.

You need that now.

When Signorile asked about whether the company offers same-sex partner benefits to its gay employees, Mendeleev said “sure!” – but it sounded more like he meant “sure, we’d be happy to” rather than “sure, we already do.”  They apparently have domestic partner benefits in the US, they say.  But what about worldwide? Stoli didn’t answer that one. Sounds like they don’t.

I also got a kick out of this line:

SIGNORILE: Are you saying now that it’s not Russian vodka?

MENDELEEV: No.

Mendeleev then gave a long and somewhat rambling answer, that makes pretty clear that Stoli is walking a very fine line between whether they are or are not a Russian vodka.  (For anyone who wants to keep litigating this issue, Dan Savage has a new post up showing just how Russian Stoli really is.)

Here’s Dan’s interview.  I honestly just assumed that since Stoli had spent the week bragging about how pr0-gay it was, that it and its parent company, SPI Group, just naturally included sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination policy, and at the same-time offered same-sex partner benefits in all of its businesses.  It does not.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • mpeasee

    Hey, I don’t know much about the company, But the EU have non-discriminatory articles in their framework, and I am not an apologist for this or any company if they have done something wrong, but I have not seen anything that they have done anything wrong besides being Russian and that I find discriminatory…Man, this is a discussion for discovery, your and a 10 on this when you should be a 2 or 3, you really need to bring it down. And what is Neville? Why are they not pro-gay? I see them sponsoring gay events and taking gay money.

  • mpeasee

    Agree to disagree to a degree, and I am on the side of radical freedom so you don’t have to be so defensive, I am happy that this is working so far, who wouldn’t be? But is it so wrong to have a broader analysis on the situation. I still don’t believe it will be effective in ridding the horrible law, but maybe I’ll be wrong too…I hope I am.

    As for suggestions I would and have proposed targeting U.S. business that do work with Russia and use political pressure. This is what ended South Africa apartheid. I am fully aware of the global imperfections in governments, but time will tell if it works or not.

    Furthermore please spare me the jingoistic American is #1rhetoric; we do kill journalist, they just don’t happen to be American and we have no problem with killing American teenagers just ask Robert Gibbs about that.

    Remember minorities of every shade still face (gay ones too) “terrorist” threats in the good ole land of the U.S.A. everyday. Yes, thank god for Dan Savage, but black people are still being dragged and dis-membered behind pick-ups in Texas presently.

    Also, does a Company residing in the European Union have to have a non-discrimination policy if those articles are already established in the European Union that you can’t discriminate? Just wondering…it’s ok, you don’t shout at me : /

  • http://www.inlookout.com inlookout

    Sure I’m a shill. I’ll be a shill for any company or individual I feel has been unfairly targeted. And yes I am familiar with HRC, or my bank account is, since I regularly donate. The CEI list covers U.S. Employers. Stoli/SPI Group does have employees in the U.S. and they are protected. Your comment still doesn’t address why there are not organized boycotts against numerous companies, like Exxon, which was my main point. As I said before Stoli was and continues to be a convenient target and I wish we were expending the same energy pressuring more legitimate targets.

  • danolgb

    They’re a Luxembourg company. They have plants in Latvia.

  • Jay

    If you were anything other than a Stoli shill, you would know what most of us know: the HRC publishes a list of companies that have pro-gay policies. Most of us who regularly comment on this site and are not Stoli shills are aware of this list and buy accordingly.

  • Jay

    Sterling Ericsson, you are the arrogant a–hole in this discussion. You may or may not be a paid Stoli shill, but you are propagating lies and deception. On the one hand, you say that a Stoli boycott will have no affect on Russia; then you say it will harm Russian gays. You say that Stoli is a “pro-gay” company and yet you cannot point to a single damn thing that Stoli has ever done in Russia, Latvia, Luxembourg, or any place else for gays (other than marketing campaigns in countries like the United States).

  • Jay

    Excellent response to the Stoli shills.

  • Jay

    As a Latvian company, they are just as homophobic as they would be as a Russian company. Latvia’s ties to the EU are very tenuous. The persecution of gays in Latvia is horrendous and Stoli has said nothing about that either.

  • tomtallis

    Go back and read your history of Germany from 1930 to 1935. The similarities to the begginings of the crackdowns on the Jews are eerie.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    In the past five years since you have occasionally been commenting here, you have used three different usernames. (Yes, we can tell.)
    Unless you are having problems signing into Disqus, please stop this.

  • Zorba

    Oh for crying in a bucket. Stoli’s own f*cking website says that the grain is grown and it is distilled in RUSSIA! It is then sent to Latvia for filtering and final bottling.
    Try going to their website. http://www.stoli.com/about/
    How much is Stoli or their advertising agency paying you, anyway, Rob?

  • BloggerDave

    Not my point. See my comment above that begins with Excellent…

  • RobNYNY

    It’s not a Russian vodka. It’s not made there and it’s not sold there. But it does have a Russian-sounding name.

  • danolgb

    That doesn’t really answer my question on whether it’s common for companies there to have them. My understanding is the EU has pretty strong enforcement as we get it in the news all the time.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Nation-wide non-discrimination is a requirement in the EU charter, so it shouldn’t matter what companies have for a corporate policy. But it’s debatable how much ability or interest the EU itself has in actually doing anything to enforce it. Stoli’s main reason for not having it as part of their corporate policy is probably simply that they haven’t been sued for it yet.

  • RobNYNY1957

    You seem to keep trying to find reasons to boycott a Luxembourg-Latvian company that has a Russian-sounding brand name but is not even sold in Russia. I wonder if it might be more effective to find an actual Russian product?

  • danolgb

    One question: Are non-discrim policies common in the EU? It seems we have them here because we have some states that don’t yet recognize Gays and Lesbians as a class. Yet in the EU gays and lesbians have universal protection by the laws of the EU. If they are not common, it seems it shouldn’t be something to hold against them. Yet still, there’s a lot of energy spent defending a boycott against them and it’s distracting from the actual issue.

  • David

    Great post here on Stoli. I am all in on the boycott. I don’t mean to quibble but I don’t think it is accurate to say that there has been “a draconian clampdownon gay and trans people” in Russia. There has been a draconian clampdown on gay people. I have not seen any report of any clampdown whatsoever on “trans people.”

    Of course, if there were such a clampdown, it would be a human rights violation and should be opposed. But as far as I know, it hasn’t happened. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that all of the beatings and assaults exposed in the last several weeks have been directed at LGB people, and not one has been directed at a “trans” person. And the Russian law itself proscribes the discussion of “non-traditional” sexuality, not gender.

    LGBT is an ideology, not reality, and you often see distortions and contortions in reporting on various news events because the ideology requires that the 2 discrete groups always be mentioned together, even when a news event only impacts only one. I hope that AmericaBlog does not go down that path and instead sticks to honest journalism.

  • danolgb

    This highlights the actual issue with the Stoli boycott. You’ve made it all about Stoli and defending your boycott against them. Why not focus on the actual issue? This is a distraction.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t mind disagreements. I draw the line at personal attacks etc, but that’s about it.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And I have the right to point out that you sound like a Stoli Trolli.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Bullshit. You think Luxembourg doesn’t have any gays? You’d better fucking believe this is where I’m going to go. We have criticized companies FOR YEARS about not having non-discrim policies and gay/trans benefits. You think we’re suddenly going to give Stoli a pass?

    AND IT’S NOT ILLEGAL IN LUXEMBOURG, SO STOP DEFLECTING, AND TELL US WHY YOUR STOLI OVERLORDS DON’T OFFER NON-DISCRIM POLICIES AND GAY AND TRANS EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN EUROPE?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Where’s there non-discrimination policy and gay and trans employee benefits, since they’re such a pro-gay company? They’re not pro-gay at all. So tell us, why don’t they have those policies, are you going to apologize for that too, Neville?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s been astoundingly effective – in fact, I’d call this one of the most effective boycotts in history, judging by the media coverage alone. Google it. NPR, THIS WEEK, governments around the world being forced to weigh in. This issue wasn’t even on the map two weeks ago, now it’s everywhere.

    As for Trayvon Martin, American’s haven’t set up vigilante squads to kidnap black kids, torture them, and then make them drink urine, on film, then post those films on social media sites, all the while the authorities refuse to lift a finger to put a stop to it, even though they can clearly see the faces and hometowns of the perps. So spare me the “America is as bad as Russia” bullshit. We may try to prosecute the occasionally journalist – over there they simply kill you. As for Edward Snowden, if he were Russian, he’d have already met the end of a rather pointy sarin-tipped umbrella weeks ago.

    America is hardly perfect, but spare me the “you’ve done bad things, so you’re as bad as a mass-murderer” argument. There are varying degrees of imperfection in the world.

    And finally, our weak sauce has put this issue on the map globally and done more to get attention, and move the players, than anything you our your sympathizers have done in two years while the issue languished. I’m happy to hear your suggestions for something better, that will get even more press, generate even more public ire, and freak the Russias (and associated companies, IOC, etc) out. So what is it?

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    WHERE’S THEIR FUCKING LGBT NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY, AND WHERE ARE THEIR FUCKING BENEFITS FOR GAY PARTNERS AND TRANS PEOPLE?

    I don’t care how many bars or parades they’ve sponsored around the world, if they flippantly don’t even think including us in their non-discrimination policy is necessary, then they’re not pro-gay at all.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL Yeah I thought that too – first thing I though was, “so I was right, Mendeleev is Russian too.” CEO and owner are russian, but it’s not a russian company :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually, the first part of the production happens in Russia and all the grain comes from Russia, then they finish production in Latvia. And the only reason they removed Russian vodka from their label is because they were forced to. And you know what, now that they’ve admitted that they don’t even have lgbt non discrimination policies, because they’ve never had a need for that kind of thing, they’ve made thie ancillary argument moot. They’re not a pro-gay company.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Stoli trolli lol

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I suspect once you’ve been kidnapped, tortured, beaten, and been forced to drink urine, you’re less worried about someone “insulting your heritage.”

    As for how all of this helps, two weeks ago we have next to zero coverage of this issue. This week it’s on THIS WEEK. End of discussion.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    So why don’t they have them in the rest of Europe? No laws prohibiting it there.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    No it does not say that. They don’t have non-discrim policies in Europe. In Western Europe. Trust me, those policies are legal in Luxembourg.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    No there isn’t any speculation in this article. The only speculation that was there was my assumption – incorrect – that Stoli provided benefits and had a non-discrim policy, and it does not. So, please read the story again. It’s an interview with Stoli’s CEO saying they aren’t doing this things. That’s not speculation.

    Thanks for stopping by, comrade.

  • Jay

    You do realize that Latvia is as homophobic as Russia. The police allow thugs to attack gay protestors and shut down the gay pride parade. Has Stoli registered any complaint about that?

  • Jay

    Stoli makes much of the fact that they are “really” Latvian. But Latvian has a record on glbtq rights that is just about as bad as Russia’s. What have they done about the shameful attacks on gay pride parades in Latvia?

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t formed an opinion on Stoli yet, but I must say there’s a lot of speculation in this article. “I just assumed” / “it sounded like…”

  • kurtsteinbach

    No that is not in the article. They do not have such a policy in Luxembourg. They say they don’t need it. It is legal to have an LGBT Rights policy in Luxembourg, Stoli just chooses not to have one. They do not have one in the U.S. yet, and such policies are legal here. Basically, Stoli does not have such policies. They do not fight anti-GLBT policies, and they are a Russian Vodka. . Stoli is not an LGBT-friendly company. Not having an LGBT policy basically means that when one is needed, because of anti-gay attitudes from colleagues or superiors, a policy will not be there;therefore, the LGBT employee can be blamed and dismissed for causing problems instead of the anti-LGBT employee. It is a cover…. If you don’t see this, you are a fool.

  • Theo

    do you have a link to anything about the lawsuits with the Russian government? I just tried to google it and couldn’t find anything

  • BloggerDave

    FYI, under the new law, having non-discrimination policies toward LGBT people runs afoul of the law regardless of whether it is legal in the country where those policies are implemented….

  • BloggerDave

    Excellent… If they change their policies to include protections for LGBT people, they are then subject to prosecution under the law in Russia and if they don’t, the continue to lose money as their vodka just keeps getting boycotted…

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    We should all be aware (and we all sometimes forget) that John owns this blog). We can express our opinions here thanks to him, because he gives us the forum. Obviously, he handles people disagreeing with him much better than I do.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    And I have the right to point out that John is being selfish and ignorant.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    They are already in a huge series of lawsuits with the Russian government. They have been for years.

    If they start up even more, they could lose the entire company and then not be able to help anyone in the LGBT community.

    This whole boycott is just selfish. It does nothing. It hurts the LGBT communities in both Russia and Latvia.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    That doesn’t mean the countries comply with them. Latvia is resistant, though it has certainly made significant strides in recent years, no doubt pushed because of companies like Stoli.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    Did you forget the dozens of LGBT groups and non-profits around the world that Stoli has funded? They’ve spent millions on donations to these groups. They created a documentary series completely on their own dime that is about the LGBT community.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    You have a picture of one of the old bottles of theirs. So? Their bottles currently say Premium vodka, because they have since moved almost every piece of production out of Russia, except for a single distillery that they are still under contract to use.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    You do realize that they only have a single distillery left in Russia, which they are still under contract to keep using for a while, while every single other distillery and bottling process they have is in Latvia?

  • Sterling Ericsson

    Actually, the point that it is made in Russia is irrelevant. Having a xenophobic “Russia is bad” thing going on isn’t going to help anyone. How is that helping the LGBT community in Russia? And what exactly is that saying to them when you’re attacking their heritage?

  • Sterling Ericsson

    Did you even read the article? It has non-discrimination policies in the countries where it is possible to have them. They would have no effect (and could even result in legal trouble) if they tried to do them in places where there is animosity toward the LGBT community.

  • RyansTake

    So, not a gay-friendly company after all. Let the boycott recommence, but this time a boycott of the actual company for its anti-gay bigotry.

  • ericxdc

    you are being used as a corporate stooge, maggie. i hope you know that.

  • jomicur

    In short, Stoli is a corporation, behaving exactly the way corporations everywhere behave. They claim to be pro-gay when it helps their bottom line; they are not at all pro-gay when (they imagine) that helps their profits. It has nothing to do with justice or equality; it has nothing to do with the respecting the rights and dignity of the people they want to buy their product, and it certainly has nothing to do with the rights or simple human dignity of the people who MAKE the product that enriches their company. Screw ‘em.

  • Theo

    then it’s up to Stoli to decide whether or not they want to stand up to the Russian government or not

  • Theo

    Hanger 1 is yummy!

  • HolyMoly

    Read John’s article once again. Slow down a bit and absorb the words. It’s helpful to click on the links that John provides, like this one…

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/08/02/on-boycotting-stoli

    …which provides information that contradicts what you have said. Stoli does in fact have production facilities in Russia. Russian grain is used to make the product.

    And there’s little else that Russia makes — besides Stoli, which is made in Russia — that you can boycott, except maybe caviar and foie gras, which most of us probably have already been “boycotting” for life because it ain’t cheap.

  • UncleBucky

    So there’s a Russian Stoli and a lot of non-Russian Stoli’s. Meh. It’s another example of corporate smoke and mirrors.

    Don’t buy ANYTHING from any corporation that supports the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014.

    In fact, let’s advocate moving the Olympics.

  • Thom Allen

    Maggie, did you fail to read the photo of the Stoli label that I posted? That it’s RUSSIAN vodka? Distilled in RUSSIA? RUSSIAN premium vodka? Imported from RUSSIA? What else that’s made in RUSSIA are you boycotting?

  • Thom Allen

    So, Maggie, you don’t think that Stoli could spend some $$$ hiring people to post in favor of their product? Stoli spends about $12 million per year on just their PRINT advertising budget. What’s a few thousand to hire StoliTrollis?

  • Margaux Milchen

    Ridiculous assertion…just sayin

  • Margaux Milchen

    We still won’t eat at chic-fil-a. Not boycotting Stolis..it isn’t made in Russia, but will boycott anything else that is made there.

  • Thom Allen

    Has anyone else noticed that some of the pro-Stoli bleeding hearts seem to have made a few mistakes in their use of English? Awkward sentence structure, spelling and grammar errors and other gaffes both on this thread and others? Can you say “Stoli Trolli?” Just sayin’

    Notice some of the obligatory “Oh, yes, I feel for my Russian LGBTQ brothers BUT Stoli isn’t Russian, why punish Stoli, Stoli supports LGBTQs, Stoli is wonderful, Drink the Stoli and shut up.” Emphasis is much more on Stoli and the boycott. Little is said about the beatings, arrests, suppression, neo-nazi organizations, equating gays with pedophiles or threatening any gay athletes, visitors, staff who come to Sochi. Odd that those issues, that are being broadcast and discussed world-wide, are barely mentioned, yet these Stoli Trolli posters just denounce the Stoli boycott and preach what a wonderful friend we have in Stoli.

    BTW, behold the label of this non-Russian vodka. It says RUSSIA or RUSSIAN in several places on the label. (Imported from RUSSIA, Premium RUSSIAN vodka, Distilled in RUSSIA, RUSSIAN vodka) But it isn’t Russian. No, no most definitely NOT Russian. And the Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich (Алексе́й Никола́евич) didn’t have hemophilia, either.

  • ckg1

    It’s John’s blog. He(and his fellow writers)have the freedom to put whatever the hell they want on the blog.

    And you’re just figuring this out NOW? SMH…

    I wonder if you would have put forth the same arguments when John was working on Stop Dr. Laura…

  • Thom Allen

    No, they hate gays, not just gay pride marches.

  • mpeasee

    The EU does have anti-discrimination requirements, thats way there has been so much hatred towards gays in many of the new EU members of eastern block countries. They just hate gay pride marches.

  • mpeasee

    “Either stand with me or get out of my way.”

    …and at what expense? Should this symbol really bare all anger and ire of the global gay community? What has Stoli done to or for the gay community? And how effective will it be at that expense? Just because someone speaks with a Russian accent doesn’t mean that there not creditable or sincere spokesperson.

    I am angry too at Putin, but I think the ire and anger should be at the IOC, or push for International Sanctions like what was done in South Africa with boycotts and what is happening with Israel and BDS movements. But this would be a big boat to tow because the U.S. has lost the International moral high ground. Russia just has to say look at what they do to Black people (Trayvon Martin), look at all the spying the U.S. does on its own people (Edward Snowden) and they commit war crimes too when they kill first responders who retrieve the wounded (Bradley Manning).

    I feel deeply for our gay brothers and sisters in Russia, but an alcoholic boycott is pretty weak sauce.

  • mpeasee

    Agreed, I do see this as misplaced tactic that will most likely be a short term tactic. Its also to bad that it will be at the expense of company that has done nothing hateful towards the gay community that I am aware of, beside having a Russian name. I think they have supported many gay causes and events.

  • chris10858

    I read all the naysayers in the comments below and in other articles about how the boycott is wrong and I ask these folks then what are you doing about the plight of LGBT folks in Russia? The boycott is bringing a lot of media attention to LGBT people’s plight in Russia. For those folks who complain about the boycott, it reminds of that saying, “Either stand with me or get out of my way.”

    As for the interview with Mike the other day, I listened to it live (as I listen to Mike almost everyday.) I’m not a marketing person but if I worked for Stoli, I think I would have let the boss know that maybe it isn’t the smartest move from a PR perspective to have someone with a Russian accent to go on the TV and radio and tell everyone how they are not Russian and so forth. I also think the CEO didn’t help his cause in his answers to Mike. If anything, it made me think his company is more about lip service to lgbt folks than any meaningful support.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Many US companies and products were boycotted by overseas groups when we invaded Iraq. Large companies closely associated with American culture, like Coca Cola and McDonald’s were boycotted throughout the middle east, India, even in Europe. So… sure. If they think that boycotting Snapple will serve their political purpose, why not? Chances are it won’t do a damn thing to impact policy in the US, same way boycotting Stoli won’t do a damn thing to impact policy in Russia, but as has been said repeatedly – that really isn’t the point. The point is to draw attention to the issue, and Stoli just happened to be a convenient target, primarily because vodka is really the only consumer product most Americans associate with Russia, besides the AK-47.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Well, looking a selection of the Olympic sponsors alone… Coca Cola, Dow, GE, P&G, Visa, Cadbury, Cisco, UPS, Microsoft, all seem to have corporate anti-discrimination policies which explicitly include sexual orientation. Panasonic, Atos, Samsung all seem to have ‘our discrimination policy is based on the applicable law where we operate’. A pretty small sampling, but take it as you will.

  • mpeasee

    Indeed!

  • mpeasee

    Local is always better…good for you guys!!

  • mpeasee

    Question? Should “Snapple” be boycotted in the U.S. for the U.S.’s policy for droning and double tapping civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan? This Stoli tactic has gotten some attention about Putin horrible law, but is it really this companies fault?

    Maybe a tactic like, no gays, gay families or friend’s of gays should support the Winter Olympics unless they hold them somewhere else. Ban the Olympics period! Or; furthermore, all gay athletes should wear the rainbow pin as well and defy their foolish law during the Olympic games.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    Doesn’t the EU have anti-discrimination requirements for all member countries? Which would include Luxembourg and Latvia.

  • FunMe

    West Hollywood’s Revolver bar is keeping their boycott. From tehri Facebook page:

    “We made our decision to boycott Stoli based on the following information, much of it from SPI Groups own website as of a few weeks ago:
    1) Two of SPI’s three production facilities are located in Russia (in Perm and Tambov).
    2) The distillery in Tambov is Russia’s largest.
    3) SPI is the world’s largest exporter of Russian vodka.
    4) While SPI cannot sell Stolichnaya in Russia, it does sell a long list of other vodka brands that it produces
    in Russia.
    5) The company purchases 85,000 tons of Russian grain per year.
    6) SPI’s agricultural subsidiary, Raduga, farms 3,700 hectares of land in Russia.
    7) Besides its production facilities and farmland, SPI has other significant real estate holdings in Russia.

    We are happy to announce that Stoli has been replaced with Hanger 1 Vodka which is completely produced in San Francisco, CA. It is considered to be a super premium vodka but we have chosen to sell it the same price as Stoli. It is an excellent product and it’s close proximity also allows us to reduce RVB’s carbon footprint”

  • Sterling Ericsson

    This is really where you’re going to go, John? Please do tell me about the other worldwide pro-gay companies that have policies about this everywhere in every location. Stoli has the policies where it is relevant to have them. They will have them in the relevant countries when those countries have the legal ability for them to do so. Doing otherwise is just going to get them sued or have their employees come under fire.

    Trying to do this in countries where it is illegal to do so is asinine. Russia, for example. Doing that could very easily (especially since Putin hates Stoli) have them be sued for violating the newly passed law.

  • http://www.inlookout.com inlookout

    I wonder how many products we buy every day that were manufactured by companies that don’t have non-LGBT discrimination policies, some who even market directly to us? So why aren’t we boycotting them? We certainly wouldn’t be able to put gas in our cars. Maybe we can poor that down into the gutters too. And really? Stoli has been pushing themselves as being more pro-gay than Harvey Milk? That’s seems more of a dramatic flourish to make a point than anything else. I’m all for boycotts but I’m tired of this one. It’s totally misplaced.

  • cole3244

    bigotry against the lgbt community has many tentacles and leads to all kinds of companies and govts, some would surprise and some wouldn’t but the hate toward lgbt individuals is so ingrained in religion and speculation that it will be harder to undue than most forms of bigotry, mainly i believe because of the immaturity of the straight male and his insecurities about his own sexuality.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oh nice! And thank you :-)

  • HereinDC

    Doing a good job John in keeping us posted. I think I heard Karl Frisch mention Americablog as the place to go for information on the Olympic / Vodka / Gay info on the Stephanie Miller show this morning

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