Worldwide hotel chain Marriott International is to sponsor the 2014 Gay Games, in Ohio, despite being owned by a Mormon family, and the religion considering homosexuality a sin.
Cleveland, Ohio’s Renaissance Hotel, one of the chain’s hotels, will act as the host hotel for the event, due to take place in August 2014.
Blair Trippe, a family business advisor with Massachusetts-bsaed Continuing Family Business Consulting, said the company’s support may be comercially motivated, but that this was not necessarily a bad thing.
She continued to say that the ability to separate the family’s values, and religious beliefs from the business depended on individual families.
The hotel chain had previously experienced a boycott from the LGBT community because it supported a 2008 campaign to amend Californian legislation to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
At the time, however, chairman Bill Marriott wrote that the company was built on “respect and inclusion”, and that he had never directly donated money to the cause.
He said: “I am very careful about separating my personal faith and beliefs from how we run our business.”
Marriott was one of many big brands to come out in support of a Supreme Court decision on equal marriage, back in June, and had previously joined a coalition of companies pushing for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.
In December, leaders of the Mormon Church launched a new website which, despite saying the church is still opposed to same-sex marriage, encouraged churchgoers to be more compassionate in discussions over homosexuality.