How does a pogrom against LGBT people pass muster in 2013?

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride.

Rainbow flag. Symbol of gay pride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

| America Blog | July 30, 2013

Nancy Goldstein really is one of my favorite writers. Smart, succinct, and able to pull a lot of data together, from various sources, in an interesting, new way. Her new Guardian piece about the plight of gay and trans people in Russia (I literally almost wrote “Soviet Union”) excels.


As a bit of background, over the past few years Russia has cracked down, hard, on gay and trans people living in that country.  The officially-sanctioned brutality became especially severe in the past few months, when they outlawed adoptions to foreigners from countries that recognize marriage equality, and worse, basically outlawed anything pro-gay nationwide. That means pro-gay speech is illegal, filming a documentary about gay life is illegal (as a Dutch film crew recently found out), and even wearing rainbow suspenders is illegal (since the rainbow is a symbol of the gay rights movement).

In response, gay, trans people, and our allies around the world announced a boycott of Russian products, particularly Russian vodka. At the top of that list is Stolichnaya, probably the most famous Russian brand.

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