Russia is Violently Attacking Gay People, But Watch How Gay Bars Across the World Are Fighting Back

Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a controversial anti-gay bill into law that would punish anyone who advocates gay marriage or any sexual behavior that is not between a man and a woman. The bill would fine any individual up to 5,000 rubles ($156 U.S. dollars) for any propaganda advocating same-sex marriage. Just recently, four Dutch tourists were detained and brought into court for "advocating homosexual behavior in minors."

After President Putin signed the bill into law, many American and Canadian gay bars have begun fighting back. After gay rights activist Dan Savage called on bars across America to boycott Russian vodka, many gay bars have taken up the call to arms by banning the sale of any Russian vodka.

Revolver Video Bar on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood said on its Facebook page, “Revolver Video Bar could not support any brand associated with Russia at a time when the Russian government is implementing its anti-gay law that bans gay ‘propaganda,’.”

Chicago's biggest gay bar Sidetrack said it would be removing Stolichnaya Vodka from its shelves as well. Co-owner Art Johnston said, I had been following the various news reports about what was going on in Russia. It's hard to believe that they could carry out and enforce that kind of a law, but they did."

Another bar in Chicago named The Call posted a sign that reads "Proudly serving non-Russian vodkas."


So far, bars in NYC, LA, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto, London, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and Sydney have participated in the ban.

The Russian vodkas currently available in the U.S. are Dovgan, Gold Symphony, Standart, Hrenovuha, Kauffman, Kubanskaya, Moskovskaya, Narodnaya, Pyatizvyozdnaya, Putinka, Rodnik, Ruskova, Russian Standard, Shustov, Starka, Stolnaya, Youri Dolgoruki.

Here are five gripping photographs showing what life is like for gay people in Russia, followed by the heroic images of gay bars who are fighting back against discrimination toward gay people. 

Mind you, Russia is getting ready to host the 2014 Olympics games in Sochi. Russia insists that gay athletes and tourists will be safe, but these photos tell a different story. Will you join these bars in boycotting Russian vodka in the name of gay rights?

1. Violent Anti-Gay Protesters Attack People At the Gay Pride in Moscow

2. Gay Protesters Attacked By Police During a 'Kiss-In" in Moscow

3. Gay Activist Being Attacked in the City of Voronezh

4. Protesters At the St. Petersburg Gay Pride Parade

5. Russian Gay Supporters Show Strength and Resilience While Getting Arrested By Police

6. The Fountainhead Pub in Vancouver Dumps Russian Vodka in Protest

7. Sidetrack in Chicago Takes Russian Vodka Off Its Shelves

8. Another Bar Owner Says Goodbye to Russia Vodka

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Teklehaymanot Yilma

Political Science student at San Jose State University, California. Studied European Integration and Middle East conflict resolution while studying abroad at Science Po Lille, France. Have worked for the district office of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Organizing for America and the Department of Veterans Affairs

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