No Longer Out: Kroger to allow GLBT newspaper back in some area stores

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 1:28am

After a month of ire from Nashville’s gay and allied community, copies of Out & About Newspaper will soon be back on the racks of eight area Kroger stores, officials said today.

The select stores are located in ZIP code areas that have 300 or more subscribers to Out & About. A start date for distribution has not been set. The newspaper’s previous contract for distribution at Kroger included all 34 stores in the area, in addition to three Harris Teeter locations.

“Nashville is a diverse city, similar to Atlanta, Dallas and other major metropolitan areas,” said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs, in a statement today. “Having free special interest publications, for example for seniors, families with young children or the GLBT community, is a way of serving local interests.”

Jerry Jones, publisher of Out and About, said Monday he was pleased with Kroger’s decision. He said he would have preferred, from the beginning, to pay to distribute papers at the stores with the highest levels of readership.

“Our contract with DistribuTech required us to purchase stores by the district instead of being able to choose the stores we felt would have the highest pickup rate,” Jones said. “We’re extremely pleased.”

The trouble started last month, shortly after a contract was signed for Out and About — a monthly newspaper serving the gay community — to rent distribution space at the free news racks of area Kroger and Harris Teeter stores. Out and About readers noticed that the newspapers had been pulled from the racks.

In mid-June, Out and About publisher Jerry Jones said he was told by representatives of DistribuTech, the company that leases free news rack space at Kroger and Harris Teeter, that the contract was ending. O&A had signed on to pay DistribuTech almost $1,800 monthly for space at the Kroger, Jones said. DistribuTech is a national chain based in Atlanta.

DistribuTech has drawn fire for the move, but said it was following the wishes of the Kroger and Harris Teeter chains. At the time, Kroger said in a statement that it doesn’t distribute publications that “promote political, religious, or other specific agendas.”

Nicole Bigley, a spokesperson for DistribuTech, said Monday that her company had not completed its internal review process of the publication before it was officially placed on racks at Kroger and Harris Teeter. A Kroger statement said the papers were pulled “until the agreed-upon steps were followed.”

The issue has drawn the attention of national media, as well as organizations including the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Human Rights Campaign. Local groups involved include the Tennessee Equality Project, the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, PFLAG Nashville, Nashville Pride and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition.

Last week, local leaders of the gay and allied community concluded a “receipt-saving” campaign, in which supporters generated more than $15,000 of business for grocery stores other than Kroger and Harris Teeter over the course of one week.

Christopher Sanders, president of the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP), said Monday that attention is now focused on local Harris Teeter stores. According to Out and About, the newspaper had maintained an outdoor box at the Harris Teeter store in Hillsboro Village for the last three years. That box was removed at the request of DistribuTech so the newspaper could pay rental fees to go in the free publication rack inside the store. The publication has not been allowed back in the store in the free publication rack or the outdoor box.

Though a statement from Harris Teeter echoes earlier statements from Kroger in citing a policy of not distributing free publications “promoting or distributing information of religious, political or other specific agendas,” a spokesperson for the company said Monday that members of senior management will likely meet next week to discuss Out and About

“Hopefully we’ll have a resolution at the end of next week,” said spokesperson Jennifer Panetta, who is based at Harris Teeter’s North Carolina corporate headquarters.

Sanders said he was pleased with the decision. The TEP headed a coalition of organizations including the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce, PFLAG Nashville, Nashville Pride and the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, as well as national groups.

“It makes sense to distribute it where it fits the community,” Sanders said. “This is based on business and economics, which is why it’s not discrimination. We have a thriving, growing GLBT community in Nashville, and Kroger serves some of those constituents.”

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By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

ycartrob, I have a lot of changes to make if I want to get to heaven, going to a football game is not one of them. The car you drive supports a very rich person, so you are supporting him. So that analogy goes out the window. I also quoted the New Testament last week, did you read it?

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

1 Corinthians 6:9-11<< 1 Corinthians 5 | 1 Corinthians 6 | 1 Corinthians 7 >>9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous [1] will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, [2] 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

By: ycartrob on 12/31/69 at 7:00

In Exod 20:8-11 we read "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."Unless it's the NFL!

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Titan, when I read the NIV of I Corinthians 6:9-10, it reads, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders... will inherit the kingdom of God."Being that God made the distinction of singling out "male" prostitutes, are we to conclude that female prostitution is perfectly acceptable? Or could it be that this is a book written by men who were fond of visiting prostitutes themselves and so were reluctant to condemn female prostitution. They were also under pressure from tribal leaders to procreate and produce ample offspring in order to conquer other tribes and nations, therefore making homosexual relations frowned upon.I hope one day you have the courage to question your baseless beliefs.

By: ycartrob on 12/31/69 at 7:00

How DO christians support the NFL, such a blatant slap in the face to the Lord's demand to keep Sunday holy? How do they justify pouring billions into this planned and intentional sin?Clueless.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

gc if you like playing the flute knock yourself out.No one cares and you should be secure with yourself that you do not need our approval?Do a frog if you want to.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Id, you never fail to reveal your childish nature. Do you really believe the only people who support gay right are themselves gay? I am also in favor of equal rights for racial minorities and as far as I know I'm as white an any European descendant can be. Capiche?And do you think gays give two flips about your "approval"? I assure you they don't. They simply don't want the ignorance of people like you impinging on their ability to live a life free of harassment and prejudice.

By: idgaf on 12/31/69 at 7:00

If that was true then they wouldn't be constantly drawing attention to themselves.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

ycartrob, what do you do on sundays?

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I suppose by "drawing attention to themselves" you mean the ones living their lives as openly as most of us do, rather than the ones who hide in the closet for years (or decades) and go to great lengths to not "draw attention to themselves".

By: LifeIsGood on 12/31/69 at 7:00

TITAN1 don't bother talking to ycartob. He's a little nuts as if you couldn't tell. He likes to change the subject A LOT. Don't let him sidetrack you onto football which is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.Fact is natural law reveals sex only makes sense between males and females - anything else is a perversion. Don't need no bible to tell us so.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Trying to keep this clinical and frank, fellatio and cunnilingus have no procreating value either. The end conclusion of your logic would presume natural law forbids those engagements as well. That contention is not tenable.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

global, there is no talking to an atheist because you have nothing to have faith in, but I will pray for you and hope you find the truth about God. I know I have many things to change, and unlike homosexuals, I will not say my sins are ok with God and will not change. I will ask for forgiveness and try not to repeat that sin. I can't knock on heaven's gate and say I am still sinning nad expect to get in, neither can a homosexual.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I have found the truth about God and I hope you will one day also. Otherwise you will sacrifice all of your life in servitude to a deity who is a figment of your imagination. In the meantime you will have alienated friends and family in the name of living by Godly principles and denied yourself a full life in the hope of being rewarded in an afterlife which you'll never see. Unfortunately in your death you will not be in a state of cognizance to appreciate how misguided you were.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I really feel sorry for you global, I really do, peace.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Likewise, really.

By: ardillicphos on 12/31/69 at 7:00

LifeIsGood-- The subject, if you happened to read the article has to do with a newspaper. So, get with the program, girlfriend! Considering that you're more interested in discussing perverted sex, I'd say that you're off subject too. x-ies and o-zies!

By: ardillicphos on 12/31/69 at 7:00

How many people here think that Titan1 might be one of them "closet cases?" He's so dramatic and so interested in this subject! Kisses and Hugs to Titan1!

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Oh, and Titan, if you ever want to try answering some of the many inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Bible that I've pointed out on this thread and others, I would truly LOVE to hear your reasoned arguments. I'd love to know why God apparently abhors "male prostitution" and singles it out, but by omission seemly approves of female prostitution. It's not a stretch to think the Bible was written by macho men who liked their prostitutes but hated those sissy boys who prostituted themselves.So far, I've only seen you dodge these tough questions with absolutist conviction in the authority of that very Bible's words (which are, as I've said, inconsistent and hypocritical).

By: isaone on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Just a note Global. Thanks for keeping rational. It is obvious that your opponents here do not understand the basics of reasonable discussion. I find that people who accept instruction without evidence (i. e. faith ) often do not understand the basics of logical discussion. No one has for example provided an answer to your questions. Simply put, no religion can specify what adult relationships are acceptable (we are not a theocracy and besides the religions disagree with one another) and there is no valid civil reason to forbid relationships between people of the same sex. In fact the opposite is true. Marriage provides benefits to the society as a whole. People who say they are for family values are in facthypocrites when they rally against gay marriage.

By: ardillicphos on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Gee global, I think it's just the two of us now: the liberal and the gay guy. I guess we won today, huh? :) But, the victory is hollow. It's easy to win against the idiots of the world. Their circular logic just falls apart after a while. I must say, I probably believe more in the sacred nature of the Bible than you (albeit a text that has been extremely edited, twisted and manipulated). But I do respect your diligence in fighting for the side of reason. Thanks. You did a great job today.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

If you believe in God, you believe in the Bible, if not, you have no faith at all. The New Testament clearly states that homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of heaven. If you want to argue with God, go for it, but you WILL lose!

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

isaone, LOL! What a load! LOL!

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Well, Titan, I guess I could hedge my bets and decide it's safer to believe in Jehovah God, but then I'm overcome with the frightful thought of getting to heaven and the day of judgment and I find myself actually standing in front of Allah, or Ganesh, or Vishnu, or Buddha... Heaven help me, I've chosen to believe in the WRONG GOD!!! I'm just as screwed as if I didn't believe in any at all.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

global, may God bless you. After all, he is a forgiven God, but only if you repent.

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I don't think "God" needs to be "forgiven" being the perfect entity that he is, but if you contend he's forgiving, I'll have to argue with that. The Jehovah God of the Bible is quite arbitrary, vindictive, and vengeful. Maybe you need to spend more time poring over the pages of the Bible to see the true nature of the God you've devoted your life to.And I have nothing to repent for. What do you believe I need to repent for?

By: jezushatesme on 12/31/69 at 7:00

I dislike babies. I think they're useless, annoying and noisy. Kroger carries a free publication called Nashville Parent which I feel promotes the "baby-making agenda". Does the fact that Nashville Parent is available in my local Kroger affect my life one iota? Nope. I don't pick it up, don't look at it, and don't even care that it's there because it doesn't interest me. If by accident I do happen to catch a glimpse of it as I'm entering or leaving the store, does it suddenly make we want to go out and start making babies? Absolutely not. So why are so many heterosexual people up in arms over a publication that should not even interest them in the first place? How in the world do you feel that Kroger's decision to carry a gay newspaper will make even the slightest impact on your life? Are you worried that easy access to gay oriented news will lead heterosexuals to start questioning their own sexuality? How many straight people do you know who have actually been truly "converted" to homosexuality? Unless a tendency toward same-sex attraction is already there, it's not going to happen. Personally, there's nothing I could ever see or read that would make me want to go anywhere near the nether-regions of a female. So I'm confused. Are straight people that easily influenced? Are they all just secretly suppressing the urge to have gay sex and their just afraid that if some newspaper comes along and tells them that it's okay, they will no longer be able to control their hidden desires? I don't get it.

By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

jezushatesme, nobody can stop the homosexuals from their life style, but when they come out and say God approves of what they do, then that is where they need to be taught they are wrong.

By: woolleyjoe on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Kroger did the right thing. All you who disagree can just go shop the Piggly Wiggly back in your 50s mentality.

By: ycartrob on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Titan, when you support people working on Sunday for your entertainment purposes (NFL), you are going against God who said to "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work". Yet, you willingly and knowingly support work on Sundays financially, emotionally, mentally and physically; with just about your whole being! Yet, you complain that gays are going against God's word.THIS is the problem I have with my fellow Christians. You are so quick to judge and condemn others, but you totally disregard God's words in your own lives. What part of, "the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work" do you not get? How much clearer can God be? And you IGNORE this b/c it doesn't FIT into your lifestyle.There's the part in scripture about "he without sin cast the first stone" and "don't worry about the speck in your brother's eye

By: global_citizen on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Titan: "I posted the scriptures last week that showed what God said, it wasn't my opinion, it was his word."I was just reading over the responses again and came across this. Titan, I understand you believe the Bible is the very words of God himself. Now, I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, but I'd like to ask your help understanding something.Regarding Jesus' resurrection, the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) each give a different account of who was at the tomb when it was discovered Jesus wasn't there, and different accounts of those people's reactions. Luke 24:9-10 says the women went and told many people that the tomb was empty, but Mark 16:8 says "they said nothing to anyone".Mark says Salome was there, Luke says Joanna was there but not Salome, John suggests it was Mary Magdelene alone who was there.I would think if these were the words of an all-knowing God he could at least keep his story straight. Can you explain this and help me understand?

By: jezushatesme on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Actually, the seventh day is Saturday. So most modern christians, with the exception of the 7th-Day Adventists, don't follow that scripture. Anyway, my question didn't really have to do with whether God thinks it's wrong or not. I can respect your belief that it's wrong Titan. You're certainly entitled to believe whatever you choose. People are wrong about a lot of things every day. My question is, how does it effect YOUR life? How does a gay publication infringe on your rights in any way whatsoever? If I'm basing my ideas of what is right or wrong on biblical scripture, Matthew 5:32 tells us that "anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery". Based on this scripture, one might argue that it's wrong for us to give any rights or benefits to married couples who have been previously divorced (except for intances of infidelity, of course). The "God says it's wrong" argument just doesn't make sense to me when debating what is acceptable or not in today's society.

By: isaone on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Titan the 'brilliance' of your reply makes my point exactly about the inability of the antigay types to actually make logical arguments. Global, I could not agree more. The number of Gods and religions make Pascals Wager worse bet that the lottery.

By: MJB on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Photo, Titan, & Wilson please grow up. There’s nothing wrong w/ homosexuality any more than there’s anything wrong w/ left-handedness. The world is a complex place & in it is an amazing variety of sexualities. Learn to accept other people’s behaviors that do you no harm.Much as I’m not a fan of the tenets of the Southern Baptist faith, Ardill, I’m more against pogroms of any sort. Sorry.Titan, belief in God is an unnecessary & immature superstition. “Belie[f] in the Bible” is even less necessary, and millions believe in God w/out “believ[ing] in the Bible”. An argument about the existence of God, however, GlobCit, is not worth the typing. People who believe in God—excepting those few rational ones who define “God” as “the force of good that flows through all things” (and, certainly, that God loves homosexuals & hates intolerance toward them)—have, on that issue, at least, left rationality behind.