Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gay Journalists Group Accepted $10K Stoli Grant for a Party

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association last week held its annual convention in Boston. Among the sponsors, according to their web site, was Stolichnaya vodka:

Night Out Boston: Have a positive impact as convention attendees hit The City on a Hill to celebrate our Boston convention, networking with their peers. Date: Friday, August 23 Sponsorship: $10,000 Sponsor in 2013: Stoli USA

Since I'm a community organizer boycotting Stoli because the parent company SPI Group has strong Russian ties, was silent as the anti-gay propaganda laws in Russia were being enacted at the regional level and did nothing to oppose the federal law signed by President Vladimir Putin, I asked NLGJA about their partnership with Stoli.

The association shared this reply, which was signed by Ken Miguel but he asked me to omit his name from this post since we never spoke directly with each other and that is why I have amended this post:

NLGJA is grateful for the support it has received from Stoli for its 2013 National Convention. Our organization's fundraising policy evaluates potential donors on their individual merits, without regard to the political situation of the region in which it is based or represents.

NLGJA has expressed its concerns about the safety and freedom of journalists covering the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the need for NBC and other Olympic broadcasters to highlight Russia's laws regarding homosexuality. We will continue to monitor these issues through the Olympic games.

Click here to read their August 6 statement encouraging fair coverage of the Olympics.

Color me very disappointed that NLGJA fails to take into account the political situation of LGBT people in the regions where a corporate donor is based or represents. 

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