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Grocer pulls gay
newspaper off shelves

Grocer pulls gay
newspaper off shelves

A regional LGBT newspaper has been pulled from Kroger grocery stores in Nashville, and the publisher is calling the action discriminatory.

"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.

A Kroger spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the company, to remain neutral, has a policy of not displaying publications that promote "political, religious, or other specific agendas."

However, Kroger 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 newspaper.

Kroger 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.

"Out & 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 explicit ads.

"If Kroger 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. (The Advocate)

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