BY CHRIS HUQUERIZA
In an effort to subdue the damage control over Russia’s anti-LGBT laws and the impending boycott over Russian products, Stolichnaya vodka brand owner SPI Group updated its employee nondiscrimination policy to incorporate LGBT protections for its employees. “SPI Group is an equal opportunity employer. SPI Group does not and will not discriminate in employment or personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, age, sexual orientation, handicap, religion, [or] national origin.”
The changes occurred on July 22, which was around the same time the boycotting of Stoli vodka began. Spearheaded by Dan Savage, many LGBT activists boycotted Russian vodka, and several gay bars also started refusing to sell Russian products. On June 30, President Putin passed laws banning “homosexual propaganda,” as well as restricting foreign LGBT couples, or heterosexual couples from countries with marriage equality, from adopting Russian children. The anti-LGBT laws conflict with the 2014 Winter Olympics and its LGBT athletes and spectators, which Russia is hosting in Sochi.
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