FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 6, 2010
CONTACT: Vaishalee Raja, Equality California
PHONE: (916) 284-9187 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT: Aidan Crawford, Courage Campaign
PHONE: 323.969.0160 EMAIL: email@example.com
Coalition to hold rally protesting hotel owner’s support for Prop. 8 and unjust labor practices
When: Saturday, January 9 at 2 p.m.
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, One Market Place, San Diego
SAN DIEGO — The Courage Campaign and Equality California today renewed calls for the ongoing boycott against San Diego hotel magnate Doug Manchester, a major donor to Proposition 8. The 18-month boycott has already cost Manchester more than $7 million in lost convention revenue. Despite repeated requests to change locations, this weekend the American Historical Association will hold the first LGBT event at the Manchester Hyatt— a forum on marriage.
The following is a joint statement from Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California, and Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign:
“Mr. Manchester understands the power of money, having enthusiastically given $125,000 to get Prop. 8 on the ballot. His early seed money made it possible to strip same-sex couples of fundamental marriage rights. And now he has seen the bottom-line impact of our community's boycott of his hotel.”
“The Courage Campaign and Equality California, together with our brothers and sisters at UNITE HERE and in the labor movement, demand that all fair-minded people join us as we continue to boycott the Manchester Hyatt. Until Mr. Manchester personally redresses the causes that created this boycott, including an apology for funding Prop. 8 as well as providing workers at his hotel just and fair working conditions, our organizations will enthusiastically support this boycott.”
Since the campaign was launched in 2008, Manchester has failed to meet with boycott organizers to negotiate a fair resolution and a public apology. Instead, he tried unsuccessfully to break the boycott against his properties by offering free conference rooms to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organizations if they would hold events at his hotels. Manchester also offered $25,000 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.
The boycott is supported by a diverse coalition, including Californians Against Hate, UNITE HERE International Union, the San Diego County Labor Council and others.
For more information and to sign a pledge supporting the boycott, visit: SayNoToManchester.org
Equality California (EQCA) is the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender-rights advocacy organization in California. Over the past decade, Equality California has strategically moved California from a state with extremely limited legal protections for LGBT individuals to a state with some of the most comprehensive civil rights protections in the nation. Equality California has passed over 60 pieces of legislation and continues to advance equality through legislative advocacy, electoral work, public education and community empowerment. www.eqca.org
The Courage Campaign is a multi-issue advocacy online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. Supported by thousands of small-dollar donations from its diverse community, the Courage Campaign network has achieved many victories, including helping stop a right-wing scheme to weaken California's electoral votes, making sure 47,153 "double bubble" ballots were counted in the 2008 presidential primary, and closing the "yacht tax loophole" that let millionaires and CEOs shift their tax responsibility onto ordinary Californians. In 2010, the Courage Campaign will continue to build a grassroots army to restore marriage equality to California, hold politicians accountable to progressive values, and push for fundamental reform to California's broken government. www.couragecampaign.org