Gay rights activists in the United States are calling for boycotts against Russian interests in the wake of passage of anti-gay laws.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent weeks has signed laws that prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian-born children and the public promotion of gay rights. The nation's “gay propaganda” law also applies to tourists, who could be detained for up to 2 weeks, a possible threat to openly gay athletes participating in the Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi.

In a The New York Times op-ed, actor-playwright Harvey Fierstein wrote that the “Olympic Committee must demand the retraction of these laws under threat of boycott.”

“In 1936 the world attended the Olympics in Germany,” Fierstein wrote. “Few participants said a word about Hitler's campaign against the Jews. Supporters of that decision point proudly to the triumph of Jesse Owens, while I point with dread to the Holocaust and world war. There is a price for tolerating intolerance.”

The gay rights group Queer Nation called for a boycott of Russian vodka.

“In light of the Putin regime's attacks on the LGBT community, Queer Nation is calling for a worldwide boycott of Russian vodka,” the group wrote. “Do not buy or drink Russian vodka: Brands include Russian Standard and Stolichnaya. Demand that bar owners do not buy or serve Russian vodka. Ask your favorite club promoters, DJs and entertainers to insist that Russian brands are not served in the venues in which they perform.”

Author-activist Dan Savage, a co-founder of the It Gets Better Project, on Wednesday backed the vodka boycott, writing in Seattle alternative The Stranger: “Tweet your support using the hashtags #DUMPSTOLI and #DUMPRUSSIANVODKA. And tell your friends about what is happening in Russia and ask them to DUMP STOLI and DUMP RUSSIAN VODKA.”

Later that day, Sidetrack, Chicago's largest gay bar, announced that it would remove Russian vodkas from their shelves.

In an open letter given to The Advocate, Val Mendeleev, the CEO of SPI Group, which owns Stoli vodka, called the government's actions “dreadful” and Stoli a “fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community.”

“We fully support and endorse your objections to fight against prejudice in Russia,” Mendeleev wrote. “In the past decade, SPI has been actively advocating in favor of freedom, tolerance and openness in society, standing very passionately on the side of the LGBT community and will continue to support any effective initiative in that direction.”

On Thursday, Olympian Johnny Weir responded to calls to boycott the winter Olympics, saying that “I respect the LGBT community full heartedly, but I implore the world not to boycott the Olympic Games because of Russia's stance on LGBT rights or lack thereof.” Weir said that such a boycott would hurt the athletes expecting to compete in the games.