An Auckland gym franchise owner has apologised for a newsletter to members which included a link to an article entitled "Soy is making kids gay".
Club Physical member John Kingi said he planned to cancel his gym membership after the article, by conservative American writer Jim Rutz, which said "homosexuality is always deviant", was included in the gym's newsletter.
In the article, Rutz claimed soy was "feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality".
Rutz wrote that not many homosexuals could "truthfully say that they can't remember a time when excess estrogen wasn't influencing them".
The article was part of a weekly series by Rutz, who also wrote on "the little foibles of liberals, homosexuals, Muslims, radical feminists, Nazi retreads, atheists, FDA bureauquacks, lawyers, Marxists, AP reporters, FEMA officials, Democrats, New Agers, politically correct trendoids and most recently, Hindus".
Attempts to contact Club Physical chief executive Paul Richards were unsuccessful, but GayNZ.com reported he had today apologised for linking to the article, and had only wanted to drum up feedback from members.
"I was on a tight deadline and in the back of my mind I realised it might provoke comment. I'm afraid I didn't put enough thought into it."
Mr Kingi, who is also the treasurer for support organisation Rainbow Youth, told NZPA he had received a lot of supportive messages from the public saying they were "pretty outraged" about the link to the article.
"The problem with articles like this is it tries to create a reason, a cause, for why someone is what they are, and the inherent assumption therefore must be that there must be a cure. If something created this, like soy milk, then by not drinking soy milk, you must be able to stop being gay."
Mr Kingi said he had corresponded with Club Physical chief executive Paul Richards who "made it quite clear that he didn't really think about it at all".
Mr Kingi had set up a Facebook group, "Club Physical should be ashamed for endorsing 'Soy milk makes kids gay'," which had about 400 members tonight.
Victoria University biology Professor Charles Daugherty said he was not aware of any evidence to support Rutz' theory.
"Soy has some relatively high concentration of estrogen, for example compared to milk, so there's been speculation about that around for a long time.
"The causes of having one sexual orientation or another are still uncertain and so it's reasonably certain that both genes and the environment play a role."