Where do their gym membership fees go?
If you're familiar with Curves gyms, you know that the founder of the chain is a big contributor to anti-choice groups.
Now, it's Gold's Gym that's in the news, as described in this column from the San Francisco Examiner:
It seems like déjà vu all over again. Just a few months ago, Target and Best Buy gave thousands of dollars to a conservative Minnesota group that campaigned for a candidate who opposes same-sex marriage. Now another big chain company has jumped on the bandwagon to fund anti-gay politicians. This time the culprit is Gold’s Gym
Just days after it became public that the owner of Gold's Gym gave $2 million to American Crossroads, the conservative group that is funding candidates who are anti-gay, the Director of Operations for four Bay Area franchises announced they will be leaving the brand. It’s great to see a small business franchise owner willing to stand up to big business homophobes. If only more of the franchises would follow suit. Check out the community response from the Bay Area franchise below:
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 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.
Director of Operations
Gold's Gym Bay Area
If you live outside the Bay Area, make sure you visit your local Gold’s Gym and show them this article so they can follow in the footsteps of the Bay Area franchise. Ask them for a public response to the CEO’s homophobic actions, and if they won’t give you an acceptable one, feel free to boycott, protest, or picket. As for the Bay Area chain, feel free to send them your praise for doing the right thing.