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Subway
Franchisee Retracts Yes on 8 Gift

Subway
Franchisee Retracts Yes on 8 Gift

PageOneQ.com blogger Mike Rogers put the pressure on fast-food chain Subway last week after finding on a list compiled by the Human Rights Campaign that a Subway franchise owner had donated $2,500 to Yes on 8 -- using the company's name. Not only did he get the franchise owner to request that the gift be returned, he got Subway to confirm that the company is expanding its nondiscrimination policy to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

PageOneQ.com blogger Mike Rogers put the pressure on fast-food chain Subway last week after finding on a list compiled by the Human Rights Campaign that a Subway franchise owner had donated $2,500 to Yes on 8 -- using the company's name.

Rogers immediately reached out to Subway headquarters with three demands: Repudiate the gift, expand the corporation's nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and give an equal donation to the opposing side.

He got two out of three.

Subway director of corporate communications Michele DiNello wrote in an e-mail to Rogers that not only will the franchise owner who made the donation be getting an e-mail, but "we will be sending to our franchisees and developers -- around the world -- the policy regarding political donations."

The e-mail reminded franchise owners that "your franchise agreement prohibits your use of the Subway trademark as part of your business or corporate name. Further, it states that you agree to '...not use the Trademark in a manner that degrades, diminishes, or detracts from the goodwill of the business associated with the Trademark' and 'to promptly change the manner of such use if requested to do so by us.'"

DiNello said that the franchise owner has requested a refund of his gift from Yes on 8. She also said that the company is currently in the process of changing nondiscrimination policy language.

"The company used the exact language you gave us," she wrote, referring to Rogers's request to add "both sexual orientation and gender identity" to its nondiscrimination policy. (Ross von Metzke, The Advocate)

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