UPDATE: GayCities spokesman Oscar Raymundo said a press release inaccurately mentioned the organizations, including Equality Texas, that would be the beneficiaries at Stoli competitions this week.
“An inaccurate release was sent out yesterday mentioning Equality CA, Equality Texas and HRC as beneficiaries of The Most Original Stoli Guy event series,” he said. “In fact, GayCities is still in the process of finalizing the beneficiaries to be a part of the Stoli Guy campaign, which will be made public once they are officially confirmed. We apologize for the miscommunication and any confusion it might have caused.”
ORIGINAL POST: Stolichnaya Vodka is still being boycotted in gay bars across the nation for ties to Russia, which has implemented extreme anti-gay laws recently.
While many bars in Dallas are still serving the vodka, Station 4 is hosting The Most Original Stoli Guy competition Aug. 17. The event is a partnership between Stoli’s parent company, SPI, and GayCities. The event drew protesters in New York and may draw more protesters in California, where the contest will be held in San Diego and San Francisco this week.
However, GayCities announced Tuesday in an emailed press release that “in lieu of the national Stoli boycott by some in the LGBT community,” Gay Cities has convinced SPI to donate $5 for each person who RSVP’s and attends the contest in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas and D.C. The money would go to statewide advocacy agencies Equality California and Equality Texas, as well as the Human Rights Campaign and have organization representatives present, the email stated.
But that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas, said he had no knowledge of the organization being a beneficiary of the event. He even checked with board members in Dallas, who also had no knowledge of participating.
“We have no relationship with Stoli,” Smith said. “We would not accept money from Stoli.”
Equality California and HRC have also denied knowledge of the partnership.
We’ve emailed GayCities for a comment and will update if we hear back.
The Stoli Guy contest has competitions in 14 cities across the country. Finalists will then compete in New York for the chance to Stoli’s national LGBT ambassador, according to the website.