“The responses to the attacks on LGBT rights in Russia show that our lives are global and interconnected. Some responded to the attacks on LGBT rights in Russia by boycotting Stoli. It’s worth clarifying that SPI Group, which is in no way affiliated with the Russian government, has been the owner of the Stolichnaya brand outside of Russia since 1997. The Stolichnaya made in Russia for the local market is owned by a state-controlled entity. We feel it is important to raise our voice again and let the LGBT community know we share the same desire for justice and equality. And we are invested in achieving a brighter tomorrow for all. We are proud to be working with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to make our joint vision possible through the Leadership LAB, which empowers LGBT people to defeat prejudice locally, while developing leaders in LGBT communities in the U.S. and around the world. – SPI Group president John Esposito, in an Advocate op-ed announcing a $300,000 donation to the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center who of course accepted it.
Why donate to a Gay Center in California, a state where sexual minorities already enjoy equality? How about the lives of LGBT Russians who have been raped, tortured, beaten, terrorized, imprisoned, silenced, or murdered because of the Nuremberg style laws.
If they were sincere and not just looking for free USA publicity to fight the backlash, Stoli should be donating that money to a Russian LGBT group. And as for the L.A. LGBT Center. We know you need the money but isn’t your integrity and the lives of LGBT Russians worth more than 300k?