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Boycotted Hotelier Looking For Resolution

Jim Burroway

May 8th, 2009

Last summer, San Diego hotel owner Doug Manchester donated $125,000 to the effort to pass California’s Proposition 8. Gay activists responded with a call to boycott the hotels he owns and operates. Those hotels include the the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, the Grand Del Mar, Whitetail Club and Resort, and the big daddy of them all, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. Now it looks like Manchester is trying to get out from under the boycott:

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.

Is Manchester now among those who say they oppose same-sex marriage but have no objection to civil unions or domestic partnerships? If so, we’ve heard those words before. If that’s the point he’s trying to make, I don’t know of any national organization that promotes civil unions and domestic partnerships exclusively, or at the expense of marriage.

Besides, donating $125,000 now to ostensibly pro-gay causes, after his large donation previously helped to strip LGBT Californians of their rights last summer isn’t exactly “even-steven.” It might have been a legitimate “even-steven” offset during last fall’s campaign, but it’s not now after the damage has been done.

Fred Karger, whose Californians Against Hate is spearheading the boycott, says he has not been contacted by anyone associated with Manchester, and local San Diego LGBT groups haven’t heard anything about the proposed credits. I don’t see how any resolution can be achieved without dialog with representatives of the local gay community.



May 8th, 2009 | LINK

This sounds like a trial balloon. His people are openly talking about it to get a reaction, but they don’t want it in the paper and don’t want to make an official announcement just yet. The White House has done this for years to get a reaction to whatever program they were thinking about proposing.

For Manchester, this is more than a little late in my book.

May 8th, 2009 | LINK

It should be $125,001 and to EQCA or some other marriage EQUALITY org.

Ben in Oakland
May 8th, 2009 | LINK

Who woulda thunk that bigotry costs money. Let’s see how Naggie gallagher managers to explopit another victim of the ivcious gay agneda.

May 8th, 2009 | LINK

This hardly appears to be enough and not equal at all to his original donation.

For one thing I would say he should make his contribution double what was contributed originally to make amends. He did cause a set back and it should be in cash as his original donation! At the least the cash portion should be matching his original donation and the additional could be the hotel credit.

Let’s face it the hotel credit does not cost him the actual value of the credit and it would be for space that chances are would have been empty anyway! Maybe provide some retail space for an HRC store to show his real understanding of equality and have it be seen by all his customers.

Nick Literski
May 8th, 2009 | LINK

Yes, Maggie and her minions will present this as the “poor businessman, just trying to make a living in this tough economy,” being “blackmailed” by “eeee-vil homosexuals.”

Timothy Kincaid
May 8th, 2009 | LINK

I would settle for $125,000 given to an organization, perhaps Courage Campaign, so that they can collect signatures for a constitutional amendment reversing Proposition 8.

That would be exactly identical to his previous action.

This sounds to me like he wants to stay on record as opposed to marriage equality but doesn’t want to pay any price for that stance. He wants to fund a group that shares his anti-marriage position.

And as for “store credit”, that’s not equivalent to cash. It’s not even close to the same. $100K in services doesn’t cost him $100K. And the services are all an expense that can be deducted from his taxable profit while his out-of-pocket contribution to Prop 8 was post taxes. When considered together, his $100K store credit only costs him about $25K.

May 8th, 2009 | LINK

If Manchester wants to make happy with the gay community he needs to undo the damage he’s done – and he should start by making a donation-matching pledge to Courage.

May 8th, 2009 | LINK

Manchester should donate $125,000 U.S. dollars to Courage Campaign!

That’s fair!

May 8th, 2009 | LINK

So let me get this straight. After giving $125,000 DIRECTLY to the anti-marriage campaign he feels that it would be compensatory to give $25,000 to a group that fights to do EXACTLY what Prop 8 did (give gay people domestic partnerships/civil unions but not calling it marriage); and $100,000 of “free” stuff, like convention discounts, to gay organizations that would bring millions of dollars worth of room rentals, bar tabs, etc. with their conventions?

This is just about the most insulting mea culpa I have ever seen.

The ONLY people who would benefit from this ridiculous “deal” would be Manchester and those pushing for “separate but (not really) equal” civil rights for gays.

You would have to be a fool not to see through this. Come to think of it, it’s exactly the kind of nonsense that Geoff Kors and Equality California would eat up.

May 8th, 2009 | LINK

Zeke is right on target.

Why is he so eager to “get out from under the boycott,” one wonders. Could it be that he’s losing lots of business? The bad publicity? No org. on “our side” should accept his offer. In fact, they should make a big deal of refusing it. A very big deal.

What I’m saying is, people need to learn that their actions have consequences. Manchester makes for an excellent object lesson.

Tara the antisocial
May 8th, 2009 | LINK

Hey, I’ve got a great idea – he can give us his hotel, and we’ll give him a Motel 6 in exchange.

That pretty much the same as trading marriage for civil unions.

May 9th, 2009 | LINK

The press release I got from Karger was quite disappointing. He made it clear that no settlement was possible with the gay community (himself) because the issue was not about the gay community but whether Karger would give the unions what they want. Karger was putting the interests of trade unions first.

May 10th, 2009 | LINK

Gay couples – (who want to get married) have money. This hotelier wants the money of gay people, yet doesn’t want to give them the same rights.

The gay population took him to task for this view, and it played out exactly as it should. Nothing more should be done…

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