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Gym Owner Sells To Avoid Boycott


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Gym Owner Sells To Avoid Boycott

by The Associated Press

April 11, 2006 - 12:01 am ET

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) The owner of a gym popular in the city's gay community avoided a boycott by agreeing Friday to sell his portion of the business.

A group of gay and Democratic activists had planned to boycott Philadelphia's 12th Street Gym to protest owner Bob Guzzardi's financial support of Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and other conservative candidates and causes.

Guzzardi kept the situation from boiling over when he agreed to sell his share of the gym to co-owner Rick Piper.

Piper said the deal, effective next month, came in response to the pending protest.

Guzzardi declined to comment Monday. Piper declined to disclose details of their transaction.

Santorum, who opposes same-sex marriage, angered gay-rights groups in 2003 when he said states have the right to ban homosexual acts, just as they do incest, adultery, polygamy and "man on dog" bestiality.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, about a dozen people gathered in front of the gym, one carrying a sign that declared the area a "Santorum-Free Zone."

The proposed boycott had been organized by the Liberty City Democratic Club, an organization of gay and lesbian activists; Philly for Change, a grassroots group that grew from Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign; and Philadelphians Against Santorum, a group started by blogger Ray Murphy.

"We're going to keep an eye out" to make sure Guzzardi divests from the business, Murphy said.

©365Gay.com 2006

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