Main | Friday, May 08, 2009

Crying Uncle: Boycott Forces San Diego Hotelier To Donate To LGBT Causes

Almost a year into what some have called a very effective boycott of his businesses, San Diego hotelier Doug Manchester is preparing to donate an amount to LGBT organizations that equals his $125,000 Prop 8 donation. The donation will likely partially come in the form of hotel credits that local LGBT groups can use for fundraising.
Manchester, a devout Catholic, gave $125,000 to get Proposition 8 on the ballot last year. He wasn't against gays and lesbians, he said, just the marrying part. Gays and lesbians decided they weren't against the Hyatt, considered a gay-friendly company, just the Manchester part. In July, the boycott began. Manchester brushed it off at first, but he seems to feel otherwise now: His plan – which his people warned this newspaper against publishing, even after a Hyatt representative discussed it – is to give $25,000 to a national organization that promotes civil unions and domestic partnerships. Manchester also is considering offering $100,000 in hotel credit to local gay and lesbian organizations so they can use the Grand Hyatt for events such as fundraisers. The $125,000 total matches what he gave to Proposition 8. So it would be even-steven. “He's trying to clarify his views,” said Kelly Commerford, director of marketing for the Grand Hyatt, one of the largest hotels on the West Coast. “He's not discriminatory. He's supportive of this community. He realizes he offended people.”
Credit goes to Fred Karger's Californians Against Hate, who started the boycott. Major conventions, including one for the American Trial Lawyers Association, have moved their business from Manchester-owned hotels since the boycott began.

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