Prop 8 Donor Doug Manchester’s Sacred Marriage Is Ending
August 13th, 2009
San Diego hotelier Doug Manchester, whose $125,000 donation to support California’s Prop 8 sparked a boycott against his Manchester Hyatt and San Diego Marriot hotels and Grand Del Mar and White Tail Club Resorts, is divorcing his wife of 43 years.
Manchester said he made his Prop 8 donation to “preserve marriage” because of “my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church” — the very same church that condemns divorce. His Catholic faith doesn’t restrain him from thumbing his nose at the Church in ending his own marriage, but it does serve as a convenient excuse for denying others the right to marry. There’s a word for that, isn’t there?
Boycotted Hotelier Looking For Resolution
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.
Bill Clinton Will Cross A Picket Line To Collect His Speaking Fees
February 13th, 2009
We asked yesterday whether Clinton will honor a boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, or speak before the International Franchise Association which is holding a convention at the hotel. The other alternative, of course, would be to move the venue for his talk as others have done.
The Manchester Hyatt boycott began when it was revealed that Doug Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign to strip thousands of Californians of the right to marry. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt as well as the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, which are also being boycotted. Yesterday, eight prominent supporters of organized labor and gay marriage released an open letter to Clinton requesting that he call off or move the speaking engagement.
But a spokesman for the former president said yesterday that Clinton will speak at the Hyatt. I wasn’t aware that franchisees were one of his favored causes. It can only be his exorbitant speaking fees. Money before principle.
Former Pres. Clinton To Break Manchester Hyatt Boycott?
February 11th, 2009
Former President Bill Clinton makes a lot of speeches and gets paid a lot of money to speak. This Sunday, he’s scheduled to speak before the International Franchise Association in San Diego, which just happens to be meeting at the Manchester Hyatt.
The Manchester Hyatt has been under a boycott ever since it was learned that Doug Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign to strip thousands of Californians of the right to marry. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt as well as the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina, which are also being boycotted.
A coalition of advocates and community leaders have signed an open letter asking President Clinton to move his speech so as to not violate the boycott.
“A Personal Attack on Myself and My Family”
September 3rd, 2008
The San Diego Union-Tribune has received a copy of an e-mail exchange between Doug Manchester, a large contributor to anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, and Paul Wilkins, his chief financial officer. In it Wilkins expresses concern about the financial impact that a boycott could have on Manchester’s hotel properties and offered suggestions as to how to diminish the threat.
Manchester had an interesting response
“I appreciate your rightful concern,” Manchester wrote in a July 29 response, but he added: “I am now really angry and I consider this a personal attack on myself and my family.”
What a telling example of the mindset that the anti-gay Culture Warriors have created in our country. The existence of my family is considered a personal attack on theirs. Even suggesting that they not put funds towards harming my family is a threat to their family.
Mr. Manchester may be a charming person. And his hotels, I hear, are lovely. But for as long as Doug Manchester defines the health and vitality of his family by the destruction and dismissal of my own, I’ll not contribute a cent to his business ventures nor in any way enrich his him or his clan.
Further, those in the San Diego area may wish to contact Fred Karger with Californians Against Hate and set aside some time towards reminding Mr. Manchester that one isn’t entitled to become indignant when one’s attack on other families and their freedoms are questioned.
Visiting San Diego?
April 23rd, 2008
San Diego is worth a visit. The city is charming and friendly with a world famous zoo, beautiful parks, perfect weather, and a thriving gay community. And although it is a military city that leans Republican, they are often of the pro-gay variety and the city is very supportive of its gay residents.
However, not everyone will make you welcome. For example, much of the funding for the anti-gay marriage amendment in California came from San Diego.
Among the major donors to Protect Marriage are a group of San Diego County businessmen. Developer Doug Manchester alone has contributed $125,000 prompting gays to urge a boycott of his properties. Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.
Mission Valley developer Terry Caster has donated $162,500, Carlsbad car dealer Robert Hoehn gave $25,000, and La Jolla businessman Roger Benson has given $50,000, according to state records.
Now these businessmen are entitled to their opinions and to seek the advancement of their political goals, even if they are designed to harm gay men and women. And we are entitled to avoid giving them a single cent, if possible.
So if you live in San Diego, or are planning a visit, you may wish to avoid patronizing any of the following businesses.
A1 Self Storage (throughout California)
Caster Center and Stadium Park
Roger Benson appears to be retired and I am unable to identify his investment or ownership in any business that might be impacted by my spending decisions.
Some activists in San Diego are considering calling for a boycott of the above listed businesses. Complicating matters is that some of the businesses have a national reputation for working with the community. Hyatt, for example, is proud of their perfect score by HRC.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation announced that it has withdrawn from a “Pride Rocks” event scheduled for the summer at the Hyatt owned by Doug Manchester. The event celebrates gay pride.
The president of the gay and lesbian alliance , Neil Giuliano, said in a news release that Manchester’s decision to fund an initiative that would “hurt loving, committed gay couples makes it impossible for us” to take part in an event that promotes his hotel.
So if you are considering a visit to one of the most beautiful cities in California, by all means please come. Just put some thought into where your money goes while you’re there.