NEWS RELEASE FROM GOPROUD:
(Washington, D.C.) – This weekend, GOProud, the only national organization representing gay conservatives and their allies, held a reception featuring the Chair of the organization’s Board of Advisors, Fox News analyst and national radio talk show host Tammy Bruce, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California. The Manchester Grand Hyatt is the subject of a boycott by gay and lesbian groups, as well as union groups.
The Manchester Grand Hyatt is not a unionized hotel, which has resulted in the boycott by organized labor – most notably the UNITE HERE union.
Doug Manchester, the owner of the hotel, was an early donor to the Proposition 8 campaign in California – the campaign that successfully ended marriage rights for same-sex couples. This donation is what sparked the boycott of the Grand Hyatt by gay groups. Since then, Mr. Manchester has apologized for his support for Proposition 8 and made a generous offer of financial support to the gay community.
Indeed, there is an entire website set up by Mr. Manchester dealing with this issue. On that site it says, in part:
“In recent months, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego has been the subject of negative attention in the wake of my personal donation to California’s Yes on 8 Campaign in 2008. I am sorry for the pain and conflict I have caused and would like to take this time to apologize, clarify my views on the matter and share some background on Hyatt’s long-standing and commendable support of the GLBT community.
“The San Diego community, the GLBT community and those that support their civil rights efforts, deserve an explanation. I am not, nor was I ever, anti-gay. I am and have been in favor of Domestic Partnership and Civil Unions for quite some time. I respect all members of the GLBT community and have several gay and lesbian employees in various departments and professional levels at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. While I stand by my belief that as a private citizen I may make personal donations to causes and charitable organizations of my choosing, I have been reminded daily that not all such actions are correct or favorable to the company, its employees or the community.”
Despite these efforts, the boycott of the hotel by gay group continues.
“The truth is that there is absolutely no reason, outside of their slavish loyalty to big labor, that any gay organization continues to honor this boycott,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud. “Mr. Manchester apologized and has generously offered to make financial amends with the gay community. What more does the gay left want at this point? The bottom line is that we lost the battle over Prop 8, and if we want to win in the future we need to be in the business of making new friends not more enemies.”
According to officials with the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the hotel employs almost 350 gay and lesbian workers (roughly 1/3 of their entire workforce). The hotel also has a non-discrimination policy that covers sexual orientation, as well as gender identity. Additionally, the hotel offers domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian employees.
“The gay left chose to stand with the union bosses while GOProud chose to stand up for the gay employees of the Manchester Grand Hyatt,” said Christopher Barron, Chairman of the GOProud Board of Directors. “We will not be bullied by the angry intolerant voices of the left and we will not sit idly by while gay workers pay the price for the strong arm tactics of the gay left – tactics that seek to stifle dissent and silence disagreements at any cost, even if the cost is the jobs of countless gays and lesbians.”
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