LGBT rights, Latvian vodka and Putin’s Russia

Reports of brutal attacks on LGBT Russians and the adoption by that country of laws banning “homosexual propaganda” have caused revulsion everywhere where (however recently) more positive attitudes have been adopted. Celebrities have joined politicians in making public their disgust.  Stephen Fry’s call for a boycott of everything Russian was widely reported, Cher won’t sing at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. The prime minister raised the issue when meeting president Putin at the G20 two weeks ago.
Those of us who have been practising international solidarity for a long time maybe need to rein in our cynicism to welcome the sudden burst of attention to these developments. But it’s important that such solidarity is properly informed and doesn’t lead to unintended consequences – like the campaign started in the USA for boycotting vodka actually made in Latvia, not Russia.
Read Peter Purton’s full article here