Harry Reid | Karl Rove | Republican Party

Owner Of Gold's Gym Donates $2 Million To Karl Rove Organization Which Supports Anti-Gay Political Candidates

Change.org points out that Robert Rowling, the Owner, Chief Executive Officer and President of TRT Holdings which runs Gold's Gym, made a sizable donation to American Crossroads, the pro-Republication organization founded by Karl Rove. As Politico puts it, the group intends to spend "$65 million to oust the Democratic majorities in Congress." Like most of those who donated the majority of American Crossroads's funding, Rowling is a billionaire and reportedly gave them $2 million through both his corporate and personal accounts.

Gg Change.org explains how that money (and your Gold's membership) is impacting political issues surrounding 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.

Change.org has started a petition urging Gold's Gym, which has many LGBT members, to stop supporting anti-gay politicians. You can sign the petition here.

If you want to see what kind of political ads American Crossroads is funding, watch a spot on Reid, AFTER THE JUMP.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Their gyms suck anyway so this is no loss.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Oct 24, 2010 12:24:34 PM

  2. wow. If I had a Gold's membership, I would cancel immediately. I have never belonged to any of their gyms. I wonder how many of us who do have memberships will have the fortitude to cancel? If every gay guy that belongs to the Gold's in Hollywood left, the gym would fold.
    It would be great if Glaad or GetEqual or someone would negotiate a deal with another gym and make it easy for Gold's members to transfer and then get the word out.

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Oct 24, 2010 12:31:23 PM

  3. The issue is that Gold's is a franchise company which means the local industry is going to be hurt by this CEO's closed minded action. Sad. Sadder even is that there is no way Gold's or Target are the only corporate CEO's helping raise funds for hateful candidates.

    This is why every voter needs to research candidate donations and do their due diligence. The information is out there.

    Posted by: Michele | Oct 24, 2010 12:44:13 PM

  4. That's ok, because today Towleroad is running SarahPAC banner ads! Sarah Palin, that noted support of DADT repeal.

    (I know the google ads are automatic, but it does somewhat cheapen the outrage of Golds' donation).

    Posted by: Clifw | Oct 24, 2010 12:48:31 PM

  5. What about a boycott? If the boys in San Francisco boycotted Gold's Gym, it would shut down!

    Posted by: steve | Oct 24, 2010 1:13:39 PM

  6. Isn't the crossroads where people go to sell their souls to the Devil?

    Maybe we could use the fundies' superstition against them and get the fundies to boycott the sponsors of the American Crossroads crap.

    Posted by: Frank | Oct 24, 2010 1:36:19 PM

  7. Some Gold's are corporate-owned while others are franchised to small business owners.

    The Gold's in SF are franchised and they are likely to end their relationship when the contract ends.

    Posted by: Tranquilo | Oct 24, 2010 1:42:57 PM

  8. All this rhetoric isn't going to do squat. What will impact the CEO is mass defection from Gold's. That will impact their bottom line and they'll take notice. Lots of gay boys use Gold's. If they have any conscience they'll cancel their memberships and let Gold's know why they are canceling.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Oct 24, 2010 1:49:18 PM

  9. Shameful. Glad I never set foot in a Gold's Gym. (Or any gym for that matter, but that's beside the point...)

    Posted by: Alan | Oct 24, 2010 1:50:17 PM

  10. Sharon Angle alone should be enough reason to boycott Gold's Gym.

    This should be a much bigger story.

    Posted by: Martin | Oct 24, 2010 1:52:00 PM

  11. No gay clients in the gym? Such a stupi business (and political) choice.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Oct 24, 2010 1:59:45 PM

  12. Fuck, I go to Gold's in Dallas. This pisses me off.

    Posted by: secure214 | Oct 24, 2010 2:08:16 PM

  13. Isn't ths the gym where roided out guys get in front of mirrors and lift free weights as they longingly stare at themselves...as if they wanted something more, no matter how buff they get? And then they talk about how awesome the other guy looks as they spot him, occasionally having their encouragement be misinterpreted..."No, dude, I totally said I'd do her, not YOU! I ain't like that, brah...*ass swat*." And they get into lifting grunt competitions with each other? I've had pets with more personality.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 24, 2010 2:18:22 PM

  14. Yes Tank, that is the gym! I would think the MOST effective course of action, but the one that takes the most courage (count out most gay men) is to walk up to the Gym owner/manager and state your case for no longer wanting to pay dues for a Gold's Gym membership. CEO pushes down, strong buff, attitude laden (see post by Tank above) Gay members need to push back.

    But this all requires a well thought out course of action, a level head, and conviction. Oh well, back to the mirror for more posing, now where did I leave those roids.....

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Oct 24, 2010 2:48:38 PM

  15. I just signed the petition, this SUCKS outloud because they are the only gym within 25 miles, uggh.

    Posted by: RONTEX | Oct 24, 2010 2:58:11 PM

  16. GOLD'S GYM: TRT Holdings is a complex private multi-holding corporation that owns Omni Hotels, has a stake in hospitality firm Gaylord Entertainment (owner of the Grand Ole Opry and the iconic Opryland Hotel in Nashville), and owns a 2/3 stake in Gold's Gym International (1/3 is held by a private investor in Dallas), and 1/3 of Waldo's dollar chain in Mexico. In addition, the company was involved in oil and gas exploration through Tana Exploration Company, which was largely sold off in 1998 resulting in major stakes in both Chevron and PG&E. They also have vast real estate holdings.

    Through his Rowling Foundation he donates large sums to various Christian causes and was a big Bush supporter... Omni Hotels became one of first hotels to ban pornography from in-room entertainment systems!

    However, is likely impossible to prove that one penny of Gold's Gym membership fees went into the $2 million Rowling gave to Rove, of the $6+ billion he's actually worth!

    As is the case in San Francisco, many locations are franchise owned and operated. Here is SF the most of their employees are Gay, and they are major supporters of the LGBT Community (Including Pride, Folsom, etc)

    Franchise fees are normal very restricted to accounting services, sourcing, marketing, etc.

    Posted by: Aaron | Oct 24, 2010 3:55:43 PM

  17. I hope you gym bunnies notice this........

    Posted by: Scott | Oct 24, 2010 4:40:18 PM

  18. @Aaron: But surely Gold's makes money from the franchises?
    If people cancel their memberships, the gym owners will have the motivation to have a different name above their door and we can quit funneling our dollars to a company that is actively working to deny us equal rights and supporting candidates who spread lies to demonize us.

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Oct 24, 2010 6:18:12 PM

  19. ...was just deciding between 24 Hr Fitness and Gold's here in SF (been gymless since our Central YMCA closed). This seals the deal. @aaron your points make sense but we have to start somewhere; my consumer dollars, eyeball time, voice and vote are all I got!

    Posted by: Terry | Oct 24, 2010 6:57:33 PM

  20. I went to the West Hollywood Equinox and Crunch clubs this morning and spoke to their managers about goffering an incentive to make it easier for Gold's clients to transfer their memberships.
    Even if Gold's members put their account on hold for a month or two and attend another gym, the dip in revenue will be impossible to ignore. If everyone who believes in equality and is against bullying and H8 stops giving them money for even one month, it will be huge.

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Oct 24, 2010 7:14:23 PM

  21. oops. not 'goffering' OFFering.

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Oct 24, 2010 7:16:33 PM

  22. So, Gym Bunnies. Who among you will be the first to cancel your membership as a protest? Will any of you? Or, is a buff bod for the latest hot party too important to let yet one more heterosexual bigot know that this shit's got to end?

    Posted by: mike | Oct 24, 2010 7:25:16 PM

  23. TRT also owns Omni Hotels. This is the same group that for some reason (which I can't imagine why they would giventheir politics) hired Margaret Cho for some kind of meeting. They booted her mid-performance.

    Posted by: Scott | Oct 24, 2010 8:14:27 PM

  24. I go to Gold's in Hollywood and am NOT happy about this at all. I sent them an email at


    Haven't heard anything back yet. If there isn't a strong response to this in the coming week, I'll be hitting up 24 Hr. Fitness, Crunch and Equinox. Bummer. I liked that gym.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 24, 2010 8:35:08 PM

  25. oh man looks like i have to switch gyms :(

    Posted by: Gino | Oct 24, 2010 9:14:39 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Has This Season Of Sesame Street Become Gay-Friendly?« «