A gym popular with the gay community has avoided a boycott after one of the owners sold his share of the business.

Gay and Democratic activists had planned to avoid Philadelphia’s 12th Street Gym to protest Bob Guzzardi’s support of anti gay Republican Senator Rick Santorum, as well as other conservative causes.

To avoid problems, Mr Guzzardi sold his share to his co owner, Rick Piper.

Senator Santorum, known for his opposition of same-sex marriage, angered gay-rights groups two years ago when he equated homosexual acts with incest, adultery, polygamy and “man on dog” bestiality.

Last night picketers gathered in front of the gym, one carrying a sign that declared the area a “Santorum-Free Zone.”

One of the protesters, Ray Murphy, told the Associated Press they would make sure Mr Guzzardi has no involvement in the business, “We’re going to keep an eye out.”