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Stoli vodka partners with L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

Stoli Group and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center announced yesterday January 24, a three-year partnership to fight inequality by investing in the development of LGBT leaders domestically and globally.

Per the partnership agreement, Stoli will donate $300,000 to support the Center's Leadership LAB (Learn, Act, Build) a program which helps current and future LGBT leaders and allies across the United States, and around the world in the development and execution of critical leadership skills.

The aim of Leadership LAB is to prepare the next generation of LGBT leaders to effectively advocate for equal rights, build strong organizations, and fight anti-LGBT ballot measures.

The Center's Leadership LAB initiatives strengthen LGBT leadership capacity in the U.S. and abroad, providing mentoring, internships, training, and on-the-ground staff support in select communities that are strategic in advancing LGBT equality.

"Over the last few years we've experienced tremendous gains in freedom and equality for LGBT Americans, but there is still much work to be done, especially in states where organizing for LGBT equality remains very challenging," said Lorri L. Jean, Chief Executive Officer of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.

"Our position at Stoli is clear. We stand with the LGBT community in the fight for equality, and are proud to be working with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to make our joint vision possible," said John Esposito, President, Stoli Group USA. "Through our strategic partnership we hope to harness the power of our global community, cultivating leaders on a local level in the U.S. to create meaningful change throughout the world."

For more than 40 years, the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of the LGBT community. The center offers: primary medical care, cultural arts programs, housing homeless youth, holding special programs for seniors, and much more.

One of the biggest news stories right now involves the Sochi Olympics, and Russia’s attitude towards the LGBT community. It is more than anti-gay rhetoric, the Russian government has a position of imprisoning homosexuals for no other reason than the “crime” of being gay.

Previously in a protest of Russia’s homophobic laws, gay and lesbian bars throughout the world refused to serve Stolichnaya vodka. The protest was not so much to hurt the vodka’s bottom line, but with word of a protest against Russian vodka on social media and blog sites it would help to spread the word about Russia and their neolitich views on homosexuality.