Stoli Vodka in the US yesterday unveiled a special limited-edition bottle commemorating the late LGBTI activist, Harvey Milk.
Yesterday was Harvey Milk Day in the US. Milk became the first openly gay man elected to public office in the US when he became a city supervisor in San Francisco in 1978. Another city supervisor, Dan White, assassinated Milk later that same year.
The Harvey Milk Foundation worked in conjuction with Stoli to produce the limited edition bottle. Stoli said in a statement it was donating to the non-profit to help it continue its work honoring Milk’s memory.
‘We are excited to take our partnership with Stoli to a higher level this year as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of my uncle’s historic 11 months of public service,’ said Stuart Milk, Global LGBT advocate and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation.
‘The Stoli Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle recognizes our history and commemorates who helped lead us forward towards visibility, a visibility that will be enhanced by this wonderful tribute from a creative and passionate brand.’
Although vodka companies promoting their LGBTI-friendly credentials is nothing new, Stoli has been keener than most to demonstrate its gay-friendly credentials.
In 2013, some gay activists called for a boycott of Russian vodka – including Stoli – in response to the discriminatory way the Russian government treats LGBTI citizens.
However, the ownership of Stoli has been the subject of several legal disputes in certain areas of the world. Originally owned by the Russian state, following the breakup of the Soviet Union in the 90s, Stolichnaya passed into the hands of SPI Groups (Spirits International).
Russian tycoon Yuri Shefler controls SPI. The company, headquartered in Luxembourg now produces and distributes the vodka as ‘Stoli’ across the world (including the US). However, its copyright ownership has faced challenges in Russia itself and the Netherlands.
When activists called for a boycott, Stoli issued a statement saying it did not agree with the Russian Government. It pointed out that Stoli was not made in Russia but in Latvia. The brand has also consistently donated to LGBTI causes.
It even appointed a Stoli LGBT National Brand Ambassador, Patrik Gallineaux – a first for any vodka brand.
The Harvey Milk limited edition bottle features artwork by Paraguayan artist Oz Montania. It launched yesterday at San Francisco’s The Café, where Montainia unveiled a mural to the gay rights hero. It will receive a second launch event tomorrow evening (24 May) at The Abbey in Los Angeles.
Stoli is not the first brand to celebrate Milk. Last year, Levi’s unveiled a range of clothing that paid tribute to the former politician.
Looking for Miami Gay Blog? Our favorite keywords In Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines are: Miami Gay Blog, Miami Gay News, Miami Gay Information, Miami Gay Info, Noticias Gay Miami, Noticias LGBTQ Miami, Miami Beach Gay News, Miami Beach Gay Info, Miami Beach Gay Information