Bil Browning

Kroger pulls gay publication

Filed By Bil Browning | June 12, 2007 8:14 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement
Tags: gay media, homophobic behavior, Kroger, LGBT community, Nashville, Out and About Nashville, Tennessee

kroger.gifYou know those free magazines that you find at grocery stores? They're usually about cars, employment, parenting and so on. They run the gamut of topics and professionalism and are always stuck by the exit.

It seems that in Nashville, Kroger has decided to yank copies of Out and About Nashville from the racks after the paper had a contract to display them there. The company's reason? According to an e-mailed statement by the company, "We do not permit publications with a religious, political or other agenda." Gee, would that by The Gay Agenda?

For years the magazine had stand alone boxes outside of the stores until they were told they would need to sign a contract with DistribuTech, a company that rented space inside for free publications.

Jerry Jones, publisher of the gay-orientated monthly newspaper, says he was told of the decision Monday by Derek Duhame, vice president of DistribuTech. Atlanta-based DistribuTech is a national chain that rents space at Kroger stores. O&ANhad signed on to pay DistribuTech almost $1,800 monthly for space at the Kroger.

Local organizations are organizing a protest of the grocery chain by asking LGBT people to shop at other grocery stores and send them the receipts. Organizations backing the protest include the Tennessee Equality Project, Nashville GLBT Chamber, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition and Nashville Pride, Inc. You can contact Kroger and DistribuTech customer service to lodge a complaint here.

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I had this discussion last year with a religious group complaining that we allowed such a newspaper to be distributed free at the public library I manage. Along with Senior Life, El Puente, and all those other local community rags. The one in question had political news, book and movie reviews, lots of ads from local churches and no personal ads. I found no content to justify exclusion. The complainant said the whole concept should be considered obscene and not distributed anywhere where her children might see it. It is still available.

Riddle Me This | June 13, 2007 8:28 AM

This is not new. Kroger has been a homophobic company for years. I have refused to shop there for a long time.

Plus, their stores in thi area, with rare exception, are filthy.

A. J. Lopp | June 13, 2007 6:56 PM

CJ, good for you for standing up against the gays-should-not-exist censorship squad. Librarians have a keen sense, and tradition, of how dangerous the creeping of censorship can be.

But ...

... a public library and a privately-owned or corporately-owned grocery store are two different animals. The public library is government-supported and its sole purpose is the free availability of information. The grocery store is for making food available at prevailing market prices ... and, hopefully, making a fair profit in the process.

This kinda strikes me like the lawsuit against eHarmony ... maybe good in theory, but don't we have more important battles to fight?

If not being able to run down to the corner Kroger and pick up my Out and About in Gaysville also means I don't have to deal with several floor-to-ceiling stacks containing 200,000 copies of SouthEastern MegaChurch and How You Should Give Us Money So That We Can Tell The World How Jesus Hates Muslims, Buddhists and Fags ... hey, it's a deal!