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Equality California, Courage Campaign renew calls for Manchester Hotel Boycott

(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. Individuals who wish to register their support of the boycott may do so by visiting http://www.SayNoToManchester.org.

This weekend's protest and rally will be held on Saturday, January 9 from 2-4 p.m. in front of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, located at One Market Street in Downtown San Diego. Members of several organizations, including Pride At Work-San Diego, and the LA-based Equal Roots Coalition, are expected to turn-out in support of the boycott.