Gay activists and union leaders commit to year two of Hyatt Boycott
Posted on July 24, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
At a press conference last Friday, GLBT activists and union leaders marked the one-year anniversary of the Manchester Hyatt Boycott, launched last year in response to hotel owner Doug Manchester’s $125,000 contribution to qualify Proposition 8 for the ballot.
“For over a year we have urged San Diegans, Californians and Americans to boycott the Manchester Hyatt because of Manchester’s contribution to Proposition 8 and onerous workloads for the hotel’s housekeepers,” said Cleve Jones, a national gay leader and former aid to slain San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk. “The hotel’s own people have admitted to losing over $7 million in business due to the boycott. This boycott has truly shown the power of our reenergized community and the alliance between the gay community and labor.”
Proposition 8 eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Boycott organizers also committed to continue the boycott and expand its scope.
“One of our goals for the next year will be to take the boycott to the next level – global,” said Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. “We will ask travel planners and tour operators throughout the world not to book meetings and room nights at the Manchester properties. We will put up a virtual bright yellow caution tape around Manchester’s hotels, and ask people not to cross it.”
The boycott has drawn increasing media attention and picked up steam since it began. Early on, several groups announced that they would move or cancel events at the hotel. Recently, the American Association of Justice, a trial lawyers group moved its entire convention out of the Manchester Hyatt to San Francisco to honor the boycott. At a recent gay and lesbian travel exposition, a hotel spokesperson confirmed that the boycott has cost the hotel more than $7 million.
At the July 17 press conference, organizers unveiled more than just a new approach. They came with a new logo and visual aid – bright yellow caution tape reading “Do not cross. Do not support bigotry and discrimination.” Organizers say the caution tape is intended as a reminder for individuals throughout the country not to patronize the hotel.
“We want to send a very simple message to all those planning to travel to San Diego that the Manchester Hyatt Boycott is on and stronger than ever,” said Human Relations Commissioner, Nicole Murray-Ramirez. “The unions, hotel workers and gay community started this fight together and we intend to finish it together.”
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