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.

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  1. *panic* what's a gym rat to do?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 24, 2010 9:18:55 PM

  2. You guys can lay off the gym bunny bashing. It's a very healthy thing to stay in shape. It's great for your self esteem as well as your waistline and improves your mood . You should give it a try. No Really. You should. Only the fat and lazy feel the need to lump every gay guy with a gym membership under the label "Rat" or "Bunny" and make snarky comments about them and their "roids". Stereotype much?
    There are a few that fit those labels to one extent or another, but they are the exception and not the rule. If you ever WENT to a gym you would know that.

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCalifornia | Oct 24, 2010 10:09:40 PM

  3. Bravo... StillMarried! I was thinking the same thing; trash people as an incentive for them to take action... That'll work, douchebag.

    Thanks for researching that membership suspension stuff. I go to Market & Brannan Golds & I'm totally bummed.

    I feel like we're getting cornered in America- everyone hates us & seriously what did we ever do but make the world a bit more stylish & fun. jeeesh.

    Posted by: pete | Oct 24, 2010 11:04:04 PM

  4. I meant gym 'rat' in a nice way. Rats are very cool, intelligent creatures actually.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Oct 25, 2010 1:22:25 AM

  5. I don't care if it's a franchise or not. If, like Coors, it has the name on the label, I ain't giving them my $; no matter how unrelated it may be.

    Posted by: von lmo | Oct 25, 2010 5:33:23 AM

  6. The two in SF are notorious for MRSA.

    Posted by: chasmader | Oct 25, 2010 8:01:35 AM

  7. More then ever... Republicans candidates are the best money can buy! And if you wonder why
    LOG CABIN GOPS keep supporting the party of anti-gay issues? It's for one reason only, because they are Rich! It is time to Vote against the party of non-inclusion and make them Republican'ts!

    Posted by: jerry pritikin | Oct 25, 2010 8:19:00 AM

  8. Wow, I can't believe what people are saying about the SF gyms. Do any of you actually go to these gyms or know how supportive of the LGBT community they are?

    Do what you will with your money, but get your facts right before you do anything that could hurt the community even more. Do you really want to make the gay employees of these gyms unemployed? Will that make you feel like you've done some good in this crappy situation?

    Posted by: Paul | Oct 25, 2010 12:05:54 PM

  9. Bravo Paul and Stillmarried.....
    Any idea who has been one of the most ardent supporters of the LGBT community in San Francisco. Look up the winners in the Pride parade contests. Yup Golds Gym. So in the last 20 years how many different times has Golds corporate changed hands? 4-5 maybe. The figureheads do not make the company and if you people would get to know the people you are attacking, ie the people who you are going to hurt directly, the franchisees, employees, members, you might think differently.
    Just a thought.

    Posted by: Edwin | Oct 25, 2010 2:22:59 PM

  10. I've been a member of the Gold's here in SF for 10 years. They avidly support the gay community and most of their employees are gay.

    The local franchise(s) here are currently pursuing what their options are for terminating their franchise agreement. Being locked into a contract, just like many members, they can't just stop paying today.

    Plus the owner is not just the owner of Gold's gym. The holding company owns a variety of businesses and has ownership stake in others. I'm not justifying it but people need to be informed on all the facts before they jump to conclusions. The first thing you should do is talk to your local franchise Gold's and find out what they plan to do.

    Posted by: moby | Oct 25, 2010 3:40:27 PM

  11. Do you honestly think that Gay Pride Day in SF will end without the support of Gold's gym? Does some cash to help throw a party one day of the year do anything to diminish the effects of 2 million dollars spent to help elect people ( some of the craziest, most idiotic, most dangerous politicians to ever have their names on a ballot) who hate you and will do anything in their power to see that you suffer?

    That's right, Edwin, and you should go ahead and shop at Walmart and Target and buy your gas from BP because they have gay employees that might be hurt if you don't spend your dollars there. Stay at Manchester's Hyatt hotels even though he gave tons of money to Yes on 8--because some of his employees are gay and might lose their jobs. Buy clothes from companies that use child labor in sweat shops, cause otherwise those kids would be out of a job!
    Do you even know what a boycott is about?
    You take your business elsewhere and those other businesses thrive and hire those gays who previously worked for the offending company. Or the gyms find a different parent company or become independent. And you send the message that bigotry does not pay, it has serious consequences and the next company will think twice before doing something so stupid.
    Or maybe Gold's gets nervous right away about the bad publicity and POTENTIAL loss of income and they do something to correct the mistake before anybody feels any pain at all.

    I don't want to spend my money, if I can help it, at a business that is using that money to elect officials who smear me with lies about how disgusting and dangerous I am and will use their power to deny me my basic rights, my income and my dignity.
    If you feel comfortable doing that, well...it takes all kinds.

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCalifornia | Oct 25, 2010 4:53:36 PM

  12. Stillmarried: Well I did not mean to start a pissing contest, actually I was applauding your defense of the "Gym Rat" typecasting. To BE CLEAR I am NOT defending Golds Gym Corporate, rather taking a cautionary stance to not lump franchisee(sp?)/owner's political views and business practices in with the head offices. BUT as a graduate of UC Berkeley I am mildly familiar with protesting and boycotting businesses as a physical manifest of said protest. Further as a member of Golds Gym I have worked out at ALL four of the Bay Area Golds (Market/Castro, Brannan, Oakland and Corte Madera, and have personally felt the climate in those Gyms....they are simply for ALL to better themselves.THey use those businesses to that end, fair and unbiased treatment for members, while additionally supporting platforms that promote those values. NOW PAY ATTENTION TO HOW THE FRANCHISEES IN THE BAY AREA REACT.

    Posted by: Edwin | Oct 25, 2010 7:17:01 PM

  13. Dear Gold's Gym Members,

    In response to the donation to American Crossroads from Robert Rowling, the CEO of TRT holdings, Gold's Gym San Francisco Bay Area would like to make you aware of the following:

    We are a local, family run business of 4 gyms. A large percentage of our employees and members are from the LGBT community. Our company works tirelessly to support the LGBT community with financial donations to almost every major local LGBT charity. We are sponsors of the Academy of Friends, Folsom Street Fair, ALCS Riders, SF AIDS Foundation, PAWS, Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Maitri, SF PRIDE and many, many more.

    Gold's Gym San Francisco has long been a pillar of the gay community. We will continue to be. It is very unfortunate that the CEO of TRT holdings has chosen this course of action. We do not support it in any way. Our original contractual obligations to Gold's Gym International were signed over 22 years ago and TRT holdings is just the latest in a series of ownership groups that has presided over Gold's Gym.

    Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in every way possible and we will continue to.

    We were as surprised by Mr. Rowling's action as anyone but because our company believes in and lives up to the ideals of equality for all we are going to take the following actions:

    1: Our contractual obligation with Gold's Gym expires on September 15th, 2012 and on or prior to that date (our legal counsel is reviewing our options) we will leave the Gold's Gym brand. It is a major initiative to create a new brand and leave Gold's Gym which has been our identity for over 20 years but we will begin that process today.

    2: For every dollar we pay Gold's Gym in franchise fees we will donate an equal or greater amount to LGBT charities. While we donate much more than this to charities and community groups that support the LGBT community we want to make a commitment to match or exceed this amount until our relationship with Gold's Gym can be severed.

    3: Our management and staff will continue to support LGBT causes in every way possible and we will use our business as a platform to fight for change and equality for everyone. We have always taken great pride in being a leader in the LGBT community and we will continue to.

    Thank you,
    Don Dickerson Director of Operations
    Gold's Gym Bay Area

    Posted by: Friend of Gold's | Oct 25, 2010 10:42:57 PM

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