Please note-

*Please note- Your browser preferences must be set to 'allow 3rd party cookies' in order to comment in our diaries.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gold's Gym Takes Your Membership Fees and Gives Them to Anti-Gay Politicians

By Michael A. Jones-

Everyone has a favorite machine at the gym, whether it's the elliptical trainer, the pec deck, the ab machine, or the leg curl. For Robert Rowling, the CEO of the company that owns Gold's Gym, we're guessing his favorite machine is the treadmill. After all, he's pretty good at running over his LGBT customers.
Rowling, head of TRT Holdings, which is the owner of Gold's Gym, is spending quite a bit of money this election cycle. Upwards of $2 million to be exact, through both his corporate and personal bank accounts. Where is he sending that money, which he no doubt earns on the backs of many an LGBT customer?

Karl Rove. That's right, the former Bush strategist, who co-founded a new political organization, American Crossroads, which is working to elect some of the most virulently anti-gay politicians in the country. Turns out that Rowling is one of a handful of big money men working to get Rove's organization off the ground, helping to turn it into a power player among the political elite.

Who would have thought that giving money to Gold's Gym could have such ugly consequences for the LGBT community?

Who would have thought that giving money to Gold's Gym could have such ugly consequences for the LGBT community?

Among the candidates that the owner of Gold's Gym is working to elect include Nevada GOP senate candidate Sharron Angle, who is challenging Sen. Harry Reid. Angle, you might recall, has previously said that women who are raped should turn their lemons into lemonade, and that LGBT people should be barred from adopting children. And that's only the tip of iceberg. In years past, Sharron Angle put her blessing behind an insert that went out to voters that said homosexuality would lead to the destruction of the United States, and called gay people "sodomites" and "perverts." She even endorsed a statement that said there was no evidence to suggest homosexuality was biological, and that scientists who argue otherwise are flawed.

Thanks, Gold's Gym!

 But Sharron Angle isn't the only candidate that American Crossroads is supporting. There's also Rep. Roy Blunt in Missouri, who is currently running for an open U.S. Senate seat in the state. Blunt has a whopping 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign when it comes to legislation focused on the LGBT community, and has voted against the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), in favor of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and in favor of banning gay adoptions in Washington, D.C. And in his current campaign for U.S. Senate, he's made the preservation of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) a hot issue, suggesting that if he loses his race, DOMA will die and gay people will be allowed to get married all over the country. Ah, the horror!

Once again, thank you, Gold's Gym.

Rowling isn't the first CEO to step into this mess. Target is still facing the wrath of the LGBT community after the company (and its CEO) gave money to support an anti-gay candidate in Minnesota. Best Buy and 3M have also seen a backlash as well, after giving money to support anti-gay candidates.
It might seem like a tall order, but this type of corporate activity deserves to be called out and condemned on every level. It's particularly egregious in the case of Gold's Gym, which not only has a huge LGBT membership, but often markets itself as an LGBT-friendly gym. Perhaps that's true when you're on the stair climber, but if their CEO's political work is any indication, Gold's Gym has no interest in seeing LGBT people treated with dignity out in the real world.

Send the company a message now, urging them to address the anti-gay donations that their CEO is giving to support candidates who would prevent full equality for LGBT Americans. Treating all people equally, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be a given for any company. That may be a priority that the CEO of TRT Holdings, the owner of Gold's Gym, wants to forget. But let's not let his anti-gay political work be returned with radio silence.


No comments:

Post a Comment