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.