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

  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Oct 22, 2010 6:31 AM GMT
    ...if this is true, I don't even know where to start...

    - David icon_confused.gif


    Gold's Gym Takes Your Membership Fees and Gives Them to Anti-Gay Politicians
    by Michael A. Jones October 21, 2010 03:31 PM (PT) Topics: LGBT Media

    .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?

    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.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2010 6:35 AM GMT
    and I will never go there....of course, I never did anyway.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2010 2:07 PM GMT
    Pretty serious.

    Gold's is the only gym around here with free weights over 75 lbs, all the serious body builders are members.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2010 3:57 PM GMT
    This is a pretty serious conflict.

    Since many of the Gold's gyms are franchises it is quite possible that a local Gold's gym may be gay friendly and even outright supportive of the LGBT community but they then pay franchise fees to the national Gold's chain who has a different world view.

    So while its true that some gay dollars are going to support a business that is not gay friendly, it is possible that the majority of the monthly dues could be staying in a gay friendly business.

    I have no idea how much of the monthly dues gets paid to the national organization.

    The Gold's gyms in San Francisco seem to be gay friendly and not just because its good business for them.

    I don't think it woud hurt their business at all to go independent and lose the Gold's name. I think the organization that owns the greater bay area Gold's franchise has already sold many of the clubs to Crunch. Maybe something is in the works for the remaining locations.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2010 4:20 PM GMT
    Almost every CEO of almost every large corporation is homophobic, bigoted, and racist.
    Some just speak up louder than others.
    This is why we need to work on changing the govt, because the assholes in charge of businesses aren't going to change.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Oct 22, 2010 8:48 PM GMT
    Interesting to hear. I use uni gym, but I'll keep this in mind (and double check) if they're ever an option.

    ATC84 saidGold's is the only gym around here with free weights over 75 lbs, all the serious body builders are members.

    Also, what?! There are gyms without dumbells over 75lbs?! That's ridiculous!
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Oct 22, 2010 9:07 PM GMT
    go figure it doesnt surprise me at all. it sounds like they r closet cases and just hiding what they feel on the inside go figure.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Oct 22, 2010 10:36 PM GMT
    Surprising that you were able to find this out

    Crossroads has received millions upon millions of anonymously donated funds
    that they are funneling into republican candidate's campaigns
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 22, 2010 10:38 PM GMT
    Not surprising to read and hear. But I'm sure those gay guys in San Francisco who continue going to either of the 2 Golds in the city will continue going there, aloof to this fact, as long as they can have a public place to "work out on other stresses" of their day.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Oct 27, 2010 5:03 PM GMT
    Well, this is actually fairly simple:

    The argument the CEO is making is that this isn't personal, it's just business. He's backing candidates that he says will help his business, and not paying attention to social issues.

    Therefore, the only way he's going to change is if these actions actually hurt his business. Like in gym membership fees.

    Many of the actual gym locations are independently owned and operated. So, if you're a member, check if your gym is one of the ones issuing a statement denouncing this. Tell them explicitly that this sort of behavior is not one you're willing to financially support, and see what percentage of your gym fees move up the chain to the parent corporation. And if you're not satisfied with the response, leave, tell them why you left, and tell the next gym you join what the reason why you left your previous one was. Make it clear that supporting anti-gay politicians will cost them your business.

    Sites like RealJock aren't an aberration; we gay guys are far more likely to go to the gym than are straight guys, because attracting a man's interest means needing to have a better body than attracting a woman's interest does, on average. That's not to say we're the gym's most profitable clients -- the big chains love the hordes of people who buy memberships and never actually go -- but we make up a large enough percentage to have a strong voice if we take this seriously. He's already getting bad PR for this, so now we need to follow through with financial repercussions.