Equality California and the Courage Campaign joined local LGBT individuals and Unite Here Local 30 union members on Saturday, January 9, in the latest demonstration against the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel. Participants yelling “boycott” marched around the Hyatt twin towers on Harbor Drive.
The rally was prompted by the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, held at the Manchester on January 7–10; included among events was a mini-conference dubbed “Historical Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage.” This was done to “place questions of marriage and family in historical perspective.”
Before their scheduled conference, the American Historical Association explained to rally organizers that they signed their contract with the Hyatt in 2003 and could not break the contract to support the boycott “without paying a penalty of approximately $750,000.”
Unite Here’s Cleve Jones, however, blasted the association for not honoring the boycott: “The American Historical Association today made the wrong decision.” Jones explained his union's agenda: “Equality for all workers, including lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.”
In 2008, Doug Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, which made it so “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Subsequent to the passage of Prop 8, Manchester has offered $25,000 in grant money to LGBT organizations and $100,000 in hotel credits, but the organizations have turned down the offers.
For his part, Manchester has stated on a web page: “My private act and financial contribution does not in any way reflect or represent advocacy on the part of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts or its thousands of employees worldwide.”