Karl Rove Hub
Gold's Gym San Francisco announced on Facebook yesterday that it is leaving its umbrella company, TRT Holdings, following news that Robert Rowling, the President, CEO and owner, made a large contribution to Karl Rove's SuperPAC American Crossroads.
Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in everyway 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.
Don Dickerson, Director of Operations, Gold's Gym Bay Area
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.
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.
A Karl Rove book event in Beverly Hills last night was interrupted when activists from Code Pink tried to make a citizen's arrest of Rove for war crimes.
Shouted Code Pink founder Jodie Evans: "Look what you did. You outed a CIA officer. You lied to take us to war. You ruined a country. Totally ruined a country."
Another Code Pink member yelled: "The only comfort I take is that you're going to rot in Hell."
Rove was forced from the podium and the book-signing event was finished.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
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India's House passes bill reserving a third of all seats in the national parliament and state legislatures for women.
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D.C. Agenda talks to the first openly gay U.S. House Clerk Joe Novotny: “I’m tremendously proud. I feel like it’s an opportunity to represent the community. When you think about the diversity in this House now — and the fact that we have the first woman speaker and we have the first African-American clerk of the House — this is sort of a Congress of firsts, so to be a part of that is a tremendous honor.”
"He blasts journalists for raising the issue at all -- in his eyes it's purely a liberal gambit to criticize him for his views on homosexuality. Rove launches a well-honed rebuttal -- a skill learned long ago, no doubt, on the high school debate team -- that comes across as part analysis and part dismissal. 'Could Dad have been gay?' he asks, acknowledging that his stepfather had gay friends and volunteered at an AIDS project. 'To this day, I have no idea if my father was gay. And, frankly, I don't care. He was my father, with whom I had a wonderful relationship and whom I loved deeply.'"
Rove's father, Louis Rove, died of lung cancer in Palm Springs in 2004.