Manchester's PR guy on Prop. 8 boycotts

Howard Bragman claims Manchester is the victim—but here’s what he had to say about Prop 8 donors last year:

‘Am I really under some obligation to give El Coyote [Mexican restaurant whose owner gave $100 to Yes on 8] money that may eventually be given to groups that oppose my civil rights? I think not… Peaceful protests, boycotts and community organizing are the tools of our trade and ultimately the things that will win this struggle… I will not fund my own demise and I won’t go where I’m not wanted.” —Huffington Post

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Courage Campaign and EQCA join forces to support Manchester Hotels Boycott

The following is a joint statement from Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California, and Rick Jacobs, Founder and Chair of the Courage Campaign:

San Diego hotel owner Doug Manchester gave $125,000 to anti-gay campaigners in January of last year—an early infusion of cash that paid for the signature-gathering to get Proposition 8 on the ballot.

In response, Californians Against Hate teamed up with the hotel workers’ union Unite Here to lead a boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Grand del Mar Resort. The boycott has cost Doug Manchester $7 million at the Hyatt property alone, and shown that there are consequences for those who attack the rights of minority groups, advocate discrimination and oppose the rights of workers. For more than a year, Manchester has refused to meet with those leading the boycott, and he has never apologized.

Instead, his latest strategy is to try and break the boycott by offering free conference rooms to LGBT organizations if they’ll break ranks and hold events at his hotels. He’s also tried to give away $25,000, but we believe he has found no one who would accept it. He first offered the cash 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.

Last week, San Diego LGBT, labor, and progressive leaders and organizations pledged not to let Doug Manchester’s scheme divide our community. Today, the Courage Campaign and Equality California are calling on our members across the state to join the boycott and show that we are united.

The Courage Campaign and Equality California also join other organizations in vowing not to take Manchester’s money or patronize his properties until he makes a public apology and negotiates an honest, fair resolution with boycott organizers.

Click here to join the boycott.


San Diego News Network: The double-barreled boycott of Manchester’s Hyatt

The publicist for local hotelier Doug Manchester announced recently in the Gay and Lesbian Times that Manchester intends to launch a Web site where gay and lesbian organizations can apply for $125,000 in grants — money he hopes will end our community’s boycott of his Grand Hyatt hotel downtown. The boycott, however, stems not only from the LGBT community but also from the Labor community — and neither community will end its boycott of Manchester until he settles with both.

Thus far, LGBT organizations have rightly refused to take Manchester’s money. Groups like Marriage Equality USA, the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality, the San Diego Equality Campaign, The San Diego LGBT Community Center and Pride At Work, and community figures ranging from City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez to Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee to former Republican consultant Fred Karger have stood firm in the boycott. It is the right thing to do.

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Boycott campaign in Sweden

Last week the Manchester boycott campaign visited pride celebrations in Stockholm. Check out this story in QX, an LGBT publication in Sweden.


Gay & Lesbian Times: Gay activists and union leaders commit to year two of Hyatt Boycott

“For over a year we have urged San Diegans, Californians and Americans to boycott the Manchester Hyatt because of Manchester’s contribution to Proposition 8 and onerous workloads for the hotel’s housekeepers,” said Cleve Jones, a national gay leader and former aid to slain San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk. “The hotel’s own people have admitted to losing over $7 million in business due to the boycott. This boycott has truly shown the power of our reenergized community and the alliance between the gay community and labor.” …

Meanwhile, activists also called on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to remove Manchester from the prestigious California Travel and Tourism Commission, a nonprofit organization which develops marketing programs to attract travel business to the state.

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CBS 8: Protestors plan new year of Manchester boycott

A boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt downtown by gay rights advocates is now one year old.

It all began last year when hotel owner Doug Manchester donated money to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. Even though he’s tried to reach out to the gay community since then, this boycott is showing no signs of slowing down.


Bay Area Reporter: Boycotted San Diego hotelier pledges money for civil unions

It’s not support for same-sex marriage, but a San Diego hotel owner that’s been the focus of a long-running boycott because of his support of Proposition 8 apparently is trying to woo back his gay customers by donating $25,000 to promote civil unions.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported Friday, May 8 that Doug Manchester, chairman of the company that owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand Del Mar in San Diego, would give “$25,000 to a national organization that promotes civil unions and domestic partnerships.” …

Howard Bragman, a gay publicist who founded the firm 15 Minutes and is working with Manchester on this issue “as a consultant,” said that Manchester’s “giving $25,000 to an undetermined organization or organizations and $100,000 in-kind.” …

As for whose idea it was to offer the money to support civil unions and domestic partnerships, Bragman said, “I don’t think that matters. Ultimately, it’s Mr. Manchester’s decision, right?”

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San Diego Citybeat: Bonnie vs. the Manchester Hyatt

The DA, a State Bar official, responds to boycott threat of annual meeting here over Papa Doug’s Prop. 8 support

From the gleaming towers of San Francisco to the poolside glitz of Beverly Hills, there’s a storm a-brewin’ over a decision by the State Bar of California to hold its upcoming annual meeting at the Downtown Manchester Grand Hyatt.

The problem: Papa Doug Manchester’s financial backing of Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage ballot measure that voters narrowly approved in November. Manchester, the hotel’s owner, donated $125,000 to the Prop. 8 cause at its early signature-gathering phase.

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San Diego 6 News: Gay marriage supporters boycott two San Diego hotels

The owner of the 40-story Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego is the focus of a boycott for his support of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage on the November ballot.

Hotel owner Doug Manchester contributed $125,000 to Proposition 8, the constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

“We feel that if these individuals, businesses, and organizations so adamantly desire to take away our right to marry, then the LGBT community, our families and our friends should fight back against these purveyors of hate,” said Californians Against Hate organizer Fred Karger.

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NYT: Donation to Same-Sex Marriage Foes Brings Boycott Calls 

LOS ANGELES — A hotel owner’s $125,000 donation to support a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in the state has become a flashpoint, with opponents calling for a boycott of two of his hotels and supporters highlighting the donation in a fund-raising letter. The hotelier, Doug Manchester, donated the money to support the collection of signatures to qualify the initiative, which would amend the state’s Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage, for the November ballot.

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L.A. Times: Same-sex marriage proponents urge San Diego hotel boycott

Proponents of same-sex marriage are calling for a boycott of two prominent San Diego hotels because their owner, Doug Manchester, contributed more than $100,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, the ballot measure that would amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Manchester, San Diego’s most prominent hotelier, who goes by the moniker “Papa,” donated $125,000 to pay for signature gatherers to get the measure on the ballot. He could not be reached for comment.

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