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Friday, May 22, 2009

UNITE HERE:Calls On Manchester Hyatt To End Opp To Same Sex Marriage

Council Passes Resolution Citing Hypocrisy of Hyatt Marketing to Gay Community While at the Same Time Maintaining Relationship with Manchester

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Monday the West Hollywood City Council passed a resolution calling on Manchester Grand Hyatt Owner, Doug Manchester, to end his opposition to same sex marriage. The Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood is owned and operated by the Hyatt Corporation, which also operates the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Manchester donated $125,000 to help put California’s Proposition 8 on the ballot last November. The Manchester Grand Hyatt has been at the forefront of the battle over same-sex marriage since leaders of San Diego's LGBT community called a boycott of the hotel in July.

The West Hollywood City Council resolution cited Manchester’s donation in favor of Proposition 8 and “the conflict of interest that exists between the Hyatt Corporation’s policies of actively marketing to the worldwide LGBT community, while maintaining a relationship with an individual [Manchester] seeking to limit the rights of the LGBT community.”

UNITE HERE Local 11 and LGBT advocacy groups hailed the resolution as a victory for the ‘Hyatt Hypocrisy’ campaign which was forged under a new partnership between labor and the LGBT community. The resolution comes a few weeks after a press conference and delegation at the Andaz Hotel where Cleve Jones, historical consultant to the film “MILK,” Rick Jacobs, founder and executive director of the Courage Campaign, John Cleary, President of the Los Angeles Stonewall Democrats, Tom Walsh President of UNITE HERE Local 11, and City Councilman John Duran presented a set of demands to the hotel. The coalition presented two demands to the Hyatt Corporation: 1) for Hyatt to publicly support Marriage Equality and 2) for Hyatt to sever all ties with Doug Manchester.

The City of West Hollywood has been one of the most ardent advocates for the legal rights of same-sex couples and the freedom to marry and was one of the first cities in the country to pass a resolution in support of marriage equality. We hope the Hyatt Corporation will rethink their business relationship with Doug Manchester and persuade Manchester to end his opposition to same sex marriage,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land.

Earlier this week, LGBT groups and UNITE HERE Local 11 expanded their ‘Hyatt Hypocrisy’ campaign to Long Beach. On Wednesday, dozens of Hyatt Long Beach hotel workers and LGBT activists held an action outside the hotel. Raymond and Byron (13 Love Stories), who were married last year, reaffirmed their vows in a ceremony outside the Hyatt Regency Long Beach. Activists tried to present their demands to Hyatt Long Beach management, but Hyatt management refused to accept the written demands.

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