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06/20/2007

Don't Nashville gays buy groceries too?

by Jeremy Hooper

Currentcover-1So you might remember that last week we told you how a free gay publication, Out & About newspaper, was pulled from the racks of Kroger and Harris Teeter grocery stores in the Nashville, TN, area. Well, Amanda Banks, director of government affairs at the "ex-gay-advocating Exodus International, has a few things to say about that yanking. This from Focus on the Family's CitizenLink news site:

This is just part of the larger question out there of what rights, what freedoms do businesses have?” she said. “We see more and more influence of the gay agenda into private businesses.

She said businesses have a right to cater to their customer base: “Many people who subscribe to a conservative set of values or a Christian set of values don’t appreciate that sort of influence into their places of employment and the places that they shop or do business with."

So essentially what Ms. Banks is asserting, in the myopic way that is so common with the "pro-family" movement, is that the Kroger customer base is essentially Christian conservative, with these folks the only ones with whom the company should be concerned. And of course she's also painting the picture that "gay" is a state of being that is automatically dissimilar from that of "conservative" or "Christian." Yet the reality of the situation is that Out & About is not a political or religious rag, but merely a community newspaper whose presence in no way hinders or sways the faith or civic beliefs of any customer. But of course when the community in question features the letters L-G-B-T, folks feel like they have every right to make it seem as if the publication is a society-corrupting opus that will leap off the shelves and turn all of the local children into radical queer liberals with an unsavory agenda.

The thing that our opposition can never grasp is that "We are a people that want to be treated as humans" is NOT an agenda. If heterosexual parents were a group in which violence, harassment, bias, and denial of rights were actual problems, then they would surely need to address such matters in their own parenting magazines (some of which, it should be noted, are reportedly on display on Kroger's free racks). However, what we have in the gay community is a very unique situation in which we are still being dealt a fight for basic fairness and freedoms. Demanding such freedoms doesn't connect us with a faith, political party, or agenda -- it only connects us to a desire to be seen as a part of the spectrum of normalcy!

Here at G-A-Y, we are the last ones to lash out at a company or cry "boycott" over each and every decision with which we don't agree. However, if this publication was, in fact, pulled by DistribuTech (the company that manages Kroger's free publication racks) because of complaints from those who TRULY have political and religious agendas, then we'd have to say that it'd be very difficult for us to continue patronizing the store. That's not because we are "radical" or "militant," but rather because we unapologetically reject those whose own radical militancy deems our lives inappropriate for public consumption!

Gay Publication Pulled from Grocery Store Shelves [CitizenLink]

**SEE ALSO: Gay chamber responds to grocer pulling newspaper [Out & About]

**It should be noted that Out & About does have a http://outandaboutnewspaper.com/section.php?sec=23Faith & Religion section. However, it is not an endorsement of refutation of any sect or faith, but rather a discussion of religious issues specific to the LGBT community.

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