Following through on a promise they made in 2010, a group of San Francisco Bay Area Gold's Gym franchises have ended their contractual affiliation with their parent company, following payments made by the company's CEO to anti-LGBT conservative organizations.
They have now formed a new franchise group called Fitness SF.
Clearly, they understand that a gym with no gays is a church with no congregants.
More after the jump.
According to Huff Po:
Gold's Gym CEO Robert Rowling gave $2 million to American Crossroads, in 2010. The political group was founded by conservative guru and former Bush advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove.
The San Francisco Bay area Gold's Gym owners immediately made their opposition to their CEO clear (take note, Chick-fil-A), saying:
"We were as surprised by [CEO] Mr. [Robert] 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."
The Sept. 25, 2012 deadline has past and the franchise owners have kept their word. They've severed all ties with Gold's Gym.
As Bay Area Director of Operations, Don Dickerson told CBS, "Very rarely in a situation like this does a business stand up and actually take a position on the matter, which is why I think people have been so happy that we've taken this course of action. Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in everyway possible and we will continue to."
Bravo to these business owners for taking a stand and following through.