Major Protest Planned at San Diego Anti-Gay Hotel Manchester Hyatt
A major protest is planned by California LGBT groups boycotting Prop 8 supporter Doug Manchester and his Manchester Grand Hyatt as the American Historical Association holds its annual meeting there this Saturday.
On the agenda: Historical forums on same-sex marriage.
Said Cleve Jones in late November: “I am profoundly disappointed that gay historians will be the first LGBT people to violate this boycott,” said Jones. “It is a slap in the face of the hard work of the LGBT community in San Diego. San Diego’s gay community has come so far after decades of struggle in this conservative city, and to have these out-of-towners come in and thumb their nose up – it’s unconscionable.”
The following is a joint statement from Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, and Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign:
"Mr. Manchester understands the power of money, having enthusiastically given $125,000 to get Prop. 8 on the ballot. His early seed money made it possible to strip same-sex couples of fundamental marriage rights. And now he has seen the bottom-line impact of our community's boycott of his hotel."
"The Courage Campaign and Equality California, together with our brothers and sisters at UNITE HERE and in the labor movement, demand that all fair-minded people join us as we continue to boycott the Manchester Hyatt. Until Mr. Manchester personally redresses the causes that created this boycott, including an apology for funding Prop. 8 as well as providing workers at his hotel just and fair working conditions, our organizations will enthusiastically support this boycott."
Since the campaign was launched in 2008, Manchester has failed to meet with boycott organizers to negotiate a fair resolution and a public apology. Instead, he tried unsuccessfully to break the boycott against his properties by offering free conference rooms to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations if they would hold events at his hotels. Manchester also offered $25,000 to any national organization that supports "civil unions," then to Equality California, which refused the offer, and now to any "registered 501 (c)3" that will apply. The money is a tax write-off for Manchester and could never be used to fund a ballot initiative to repeal Prop. 8.
The boycott is supported by a diverse coalition, including Californians Against Hate, UNITE HERE International Union, the San Diego County Labor Council and others.
Equality California is offering a free bus from West Hollywood.