A regional LGBT
newspaper has been pulled from Kroger grocery stores
in Nashville, and the publisher is calling the action
"This is a clear
case of discrimination based on the fact that we
provide news for the Tennessee GLBT community," Jerry Jones,
the publisher of Out &About, said in an article published on the
newspaper's Web site."It's astonishing that this level
of corporate discrimination exists in today's society."
Kroger had begun carrying the paper May 9, but on May 31,
Jones was notified it would no longer do so.
spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the company, to
remain neutral, has a policy of not displaying publications
that promote "political, religious, or other
supermarkets in other areas, such as Atlanta, carry gay
publications. Not only do Kroger's Atlanta stores
carry the gay paper SouthernVoice, but the company advertises in the
distributes the NashvilleScene, an alternative weekly that publishes
political columns and has ads for strip clubs and
dating phone lines. Jones said the weekly and his
publication should be equally regarded.
About newspaper does cater to a target audience,
just like the Nashville Scene and Nashville
Parent," he said in the article. "But like those
publications, our mission is to provide news and
information for our community and to serve as a watchdog and
newspaper of record for that community."
According to the
AP, the May issue of Out & About was on
stands for three weeks at the supermarket, and about
3,500 issues were picked up. The newspaper has no sexually
were to review the paper, they would find it is a very clean
and well-produced newspaper,'' John Wade, the president of
the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce said in the
article. "The public perception of anything
within the gay community is that it's sexual in nature. I
think they are reacting to perception, which is not
necessarily the reality."
Kroger operates 2,468 supermarkets and multi-department
stores in 31 states under various local monikers.