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Culinary Union’s Battle with UFC Continues, Pleads With Gay and Lesbian Organization To Take Back Award

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Photo credit – Ted Gruber, www.Chicagonow.com

For over a decade the Culinary Union 226 has protested corporations associated with Station Casinos Inc. One of these corporations happens to be the UFC.

After the the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada made the UFC their Corporation of the Year, the union was not pleased to say the least. A letter from the union dated Sept. 16 reached the Community Center which states:

“Not only are the owners of the UFC embroiled in a bitter labor dispute with the Culinary Union over casino properties, Station Casinos, which provides no benefits to domestic partners through their 2013 health plan, but the UFC has a history of tolerating offensive comments by fighters and company representatives, including anti-gay and misogynistic remarks.”

According to a report from The Las Vegas Review Journal, Ryan Marquardt, spokesman for the community center, said the UFC had donated around $200,000 to the center in early 2012, and they would not be taking back their honors. President of the center’s board of directors Raymond Wilmer made a statement regarding the letter where he declared the UFC’s part in the community is not just about money.

“From the outset of our partnership, the participation by UFC in the life of the center has been about more than just funding,” he said. “They have had an impressive presence at significant events, and they have ensured that this participation has been inclusive and has included the highest level of leadership of UFC. The center, in turn, has committed ourselves to supporting UFC’s long-standing efforts to ensure that their operation is fully supportive of equality and the LGBT community.”

Yvanna Cancela, Culinary union spokeswoman, was unavailable for comment, according to the report.