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Gay GOP Group 'GOProud' Holds Event at Boycotted San Diego Hyatt

1-Jimmy-LaSalvia

GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia

Guestbloggertext and photos by REX WOCKNER (for Towleroad)

A national gay Republican group has received $16,000 in contributions from San Diego's Manchester Financial Group and the gay-boycotted Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, and recently held an event at the hotel.

In May, GOProud accepted a $6,000 cash contribution from the financial group and $10,000 in hotel credit from the Hyatt, the organization confirmed July 30.

4-Protest The Manchester Grand Hyatt has been boycotted for two years by LGBT activists in response to owner Doug Manchester's $125,000 donation in "seed money" to the campaign that succeeded in amending California's constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage in 2008.

"They generously are supporting us with hotel credit and some cash," GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia said in an interview. "We are grateful and happy to take it. I'm happy he is supporting organizations like GOProud rather than supporting organizations that are working against us."

GOProud held its first California event at the hotel July 31. Forty people attended. Tammy Bruce, an openly lesbian Fox News political analyst, author and radio talk-show host, was the featured speaker.

The reception was picketed by 20 activists who said it was shameful for GOProud to violate the boycott and accept money from Manchester. They were addressed by veteran Los Angeles lesbian activist Robin Tyler.

The protesters carried signs that said, "GOProud go home!" and "GOProud = GOShame."

2-Tammy-Bruce

Tammy Bruce

But in an interview, Bruce said it was the picket outside that was shameful.

"The irony, after every civil-rights movement really was about making sure that people who are different, especially gays and lesbians, would not be shunned, would have an equal opportunity, would at least, by not fitting in, not be punished for being different, for not conforming -- and what is it today? Protests outside this hotel for a bunch of gays who do not conform," she said. "To try to punish businesses and people for perhaps believing differently than you do and for voting and being politically active in that regard is shameful."

5-Protest More than a year ago, Manchester attempted to make amends with the gay community by offering LGBT organizations $100,000 in hotel credit and $25,000 in cash. While GOProud is the first group to use some of the hotel credit, a total of five LGBT organizations have accepted donations, said Manchester Grand Hyatt marketing director Kelly Commerford.

Commerford directed a reporter to a public-relations agency for additional information. A phone call to the agency was not returned.

In addition to offering money and hotel credit, Manchester also apologized for his pro-Proposition 8 donation and called it a mistake.

6-Protest"Numerous apologies have been made by Doug Manchester himself and on his behalf, to the gay and lesbian community, the San Diego community and to the general public," says his website mghsd4equality.com. "Mr. Manchester acknowledges that he made a mistake and is taking action that reflects that. Doug Manchester has promised his colleagues, clients, patrons, the gay and lesbian community and the San Diego community that he will never again support an organization that seeks to limit or oppose the rights of any Americans. Doug Manchester supports equality for the GLBT community and has publically stated his belief that all Americans should receive the same benefits as civil marriage. Mr. Manchester has traditionally understood 'marriage' in the context of a religious institution, but now understands there is a civil rights component to it that should apply to all Americans."

Boycott supporters, which include the important statewide groups Equality California and Courage Campaign, say Manchester needs to do more, however.

"We believe in redemption ultimately and in the opportunity for people to change their minds, but Doug Manchester helped bankroll the Yes on 8 campaign and he hasn't changed his mind on marriage," said Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California.

7-Robin-Tyler

Activist Robin Tyler 

Solomon suggested that Manchester meet with gay couples, express support for marriage equality and spend "an equal amount of money to undo the harm he did."

Solomon said EQCA had turned down an offer of a $25,000 donation from Manchester.

The president of the San Diego chapter of the LGBT group Log Cabin Republicans, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, said his organization decided not to "break the boycott" for the GOProud event.

"In this instance, it's best to side with the (gay) community because the community's right," Rodriguez-Kennedy said in a video interview with ThatsSoGayLIVE.com.

3-Jimmy-LaSalvia--Jessica-Lee--Tammy-Bruce--Christopher-Barron

GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia, board member Jessica Lee, Tammy Bruce, and board chair Christopher Barron

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Comments

  1. It would be great if GoProud could actually get the GOP to focus on fiscal rather than social issues... but I doubt that will ever happen.

    And Tammy Bruce... well, that's a lot'o spin ya got going there- you belong w/ the GOP.

    No one is singled out for voting differently, they're singled out for knowingly supporting an org that funds their own discrimination. Seriously, even you can't believe your own baloney.

    Posted by: stephen | Aug 2, 2010 9:30:12 AM


  2. GOProud is not a gay-rights organization. It has made clear from the start that it's mission is to ignore GOP opposition on gay-rights issues and, instead, to try to get gay voters to ignore their own civil rights and support the GOP in exchange for such bribes as tax cuts. This is the organization founded by people who complained that the Log Cabin Republicans were "too militant." GOProud is the home for closeted or cowardly gay Republicans who care more about tax cuts than their own equal rights.

    Posted by: SkepticalCicada | Aug 2, 2010 9:46:19 AM


  3. Those people make me ashamed to be gay. Ignoramuses all.

    Posted by: GGREEN | Aug 2, 2010 9:48:31 AM


  4. They think that with enough money, they can buy respect or at least safety.

    Posted by: homer | Aug 2, 2010 9:50:03 AM


  5. I still think Goproud are very useful idiots at this point in the game. They have managed to infiltrate deep bastions of homophobia and confuse the usual right-left debate on gay rights. Of course they are despicable as individuals, but Goproud are useful idiots and should be encouraged.

    Posted by: Alex | Aug 2, 2010 10:21:38 AM


  6. "To try to punish businesses and people for perhaps believing differently than you do and for voting and being politically active in that regard is shameful."

    Punishing businesses through boycotts is about as American as it gets. I'm always bemused by people who get offended when someone suggests either a specific boycott in this case, or in a more generalized boycott such as Hawaii.

    Posted by: Zach | Aug 2, 2010 10:39:53 AM


  7. This isn't about gay rights nor politics...the real beef is between the union and the Hyatt management, and the union is just using the local G/L activists as political-cover to mask their (questionable) union activities. Even in the picture above, half the signs are professionally-printed and sponsored by the unions and have the union locals name right on them.

    Posted by: Ted B. | Aug 2, 2010 10:52:11 AM


  8. not sure exactly what more is expected from manchester...

    Posted by: rick | Aug 2, 2010 10:54:05 AM


  9. Unions = Al Queda. Right Ted B?

    Tammy Bruce made a name for herself here in L.A. during the O.J. trial. She had a radio show and railed away every day against the lastest Johnnie Cochran outrage. However at a cetain point it became quite clear that Tammy wasn't screaming about O.J. alone (which one would have thought more than enough) but ALL African-Americans. The National Organization For Women, of which she had once been a leader, quickly distanced themselves from this blatant unapologetic racist.

    No surprise that she now with GoProud -- the Log Cabinettes even more evil twin.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 2, 2010 11:04:48 AM


  10. "This isn't about gay rights nor politics...the real beef is between the union and the Hyatt management, and the union is just using the local G/L activists as political-cover to mask their (questionable) union activities. "


    So what? The union uses gay rights, gay rights organizations use a union, since their membership will turn up for a protest. Gays can vote with their wallets, and ultimately that will be more effective, but it's nice having bodies down at the hotel. A hundred people or more down there every day would be ideal though, even if only for a couple of hours. You would scare practically all the remaining business away.

    Posted by: Zach | Aug 2, 2010 11:09:12 AM


  11. Funny part is you can see how irrelevant this group is. They have a national convention and 40 people show up? Really??? 40??? Wow I thought they claimed something like 10,000 members. If this is all that shows up it looks like someone has been taking membership counting lessons from HRC.

    Posted by: Tim W | Aug 2, 2010 11:12:05 AM


  12. I'm glad you posted the photo of these douchebags so that none of us make the mistake of fucking them.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Aug 2, 2010 11:17:24 AM


  13. RICK, Manchester gave prop 8 $125,000 CASH to take away our rights.

    He now says that he has changed his mind and has offered $100,000 CREDIT at HIS HOTEL. Let's look at what a $100,000 hotel credit equals. First it's $25,000 LESS than the cash donation he made against us. Then, the credit is against his RETAIL prices so it only ACTUALLY costs him his MUCH LESS wholesale amount. Then the amount it costs him is 100% tax deductible. And finally, the credit is just bait because he knows that the people who stay in his hotel with conventions that receive credits will SPENT a lot of extra money, over and beyond the credit, in HIS hotel and in HIS pocket.

    So lets add it up. For Manchester it's win PR, win filled rooms, win end to boycott, win tax credits, win lots of extra money. For the gay community it's an offer of $25,000 and an additional REAL amount of about $30K to $40K MINUS the amount of money that we would spend while staying at his hotel.

    So he says he's sorry and wants to make amends but he offers us about $60K to make up for the $125K AND AN ANTI-GAY AMENDMENT that he gave us in 2008.

    And you wonder what more he could do?

    If you're that thick then you should probably join GOProud, if you haven't already. You'll fit right in.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 2, 2010 11:21:13 AM


  14. GOProud doesn't support marriage equality either. That's one of the reasons they split from Log Cabin. And their guest of honor, Tammy Bruce, is a VERY vocal gay marriage opponent, lesbian, radio talk host.

    Of course Manchester doesn't mind giving them money. It's a win win for him. He can claim that he isn't anti-gay since he gives money to a "gay" group while all the time knowing he's funding a group that supports and promotes the same anti-gay views that he got in trouble for supporting in the first place.

    Posted by: Jerry | Aug 2, 2010 11:27:05 AM


  15. tammy bruce is such a perfect little "good german" she makes me want to puke.

    Posted by: alguien | Aug 2, 2010 11:34:01 AM


  16. OK- GoProud is, like most Gay Republican groups, a silly proposition. Any political organization that seeks to remove your basic human rights / dignity should not be rewarded with political support. If I was a conservative I'd rather vote for Democrats who support me on civil rights even if they are 99% against everything else I stand for. Some things, like your dignity as a human being just aren't negotiable. That said, the "No on 8" folks should accept Manchester's money and make a great deal of publicity about it as a lesson for others to follow.

    Posted by: Anthony | Aug 2, 2010 9:40:13 PM


  17. In addition to having views that help oppress themselves and working to set back social progress, this group just looks all wrong.

    Why are their clothes so ill fitting?

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 2, 2010 11:03:35 PM


  18. "Funny part is you can see how irrelevant this group is. They have a national convention and 40 people show up? Really??? 40??? Wow I thought they claimed something like 10,000 members. If this is all that shows up it looks like someone has been taking membership counting lessons from HRC."

    EXACTLY! Here in Vegas they made a big media splash on a slow news month. Now they're known as "the cult of 30".

    Further when our local LGBT business group had a candidate meet and great and debate, NO Republican candidates would participate and the best they could do was the local GOProud head for the debate. We got the State Senate Majority Leader, an African American, btw. Their whole group was lily white (not that there's anything wrong with that)except for one Asian guy. Our candidates were Black, Latino, White, male, female, straight and Gay.

    I'm cool with who I am both as a Gay man and as a Democrat. How about you Jimmy? What exactly are you so proud of?

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Aug 3, 2010 12:51:33 AM


  19. Also last year on her radio show. She called Michelle Obama a BITCH straight out.

    But I didn't know she was a Lesbian?

    Posted by: Pinky Pumps | Aug 3, 2010 1:29:26 AM


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