Equality California has confirmed to the Bay Area Reporter that it is not participating in Wednesday’s Most Original Stoli Guy Live event in San Francisco.
Earlier Tuesday, Oscar Raymundo of GayCities and Queerty, which is promoting the Stoli event, sent out an email stating that EQCA would be receiving a $5 per person donation. The decision to have local beneficiaries was apparently made because of pressure by some gay activists to boycott Stoli products due to the ongoing controversy over Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law.
Raymundo’s email said that GayCities had asked SPI Group, Stoli’s parent company, “to donate $5 for every person who RSVPs and attends” the Stoli Guy Live event, which takes place at Beatbox, 314 11th Street. B.A.R. society columnist Donna Sachet is one of the performers.
But it appears that Raymundo sent out the email before getting confirmation from EQCA. Spokesman Jesse Melgar told the B.A.R. Tuesday afternoon that the gay rights group is “not participating in this event in any way.”
Raymundo attributed the mix-up to “miscommunication.”
At any rate, local activist Michael Petrelis and others plan to dump Stoli vodka outside of the venue Wednesday to protest Russia’s anti-gay law. The new law includes stiff fines and jail time for Russian citizens who “propagate” homosexuality to minors. This could include hand-holding and other public displays of affection, and broadcasting positive news stories about LGBT people. Russian President Vladimir Putin claims that he’s not homophobic, and that he considered it his duty to protect the rights of sexual minorities.