05.11.2009 4:48pm EDT
(San Diego, California) California LGBT activists are rebuffing a bid by San Diego developer Doug Manchester to end a boycott of two of his hotels in San Diego over his support for Proposition 8, the measure which bans same-sex marriage in California.Manchester owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.
Last year he donated $125,000 to Protect Marriage, the group behind the ballot measure.
A group called Californians Against Hate immediately launched a boycott of Manchester’s properties. The boycott has resulted in several groups canceling conventions at the hotels - costing Manchester’s facility an estimated $2 million.
Among those who bailed out of meeting at the hotel are conventions for the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, the San Diego Board of Realtors, the American Assn. of Law Schools and the California Nurses Association.
Several months ago, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, with loss of business at the hotels mounting, Manchester sought the help of Los Angeles public relations specialist Howard Bragman, a gay man who married had his partner last year and fought Prop. 8.
Now Manchester wants to donate an equal amount of money - $125,000 - to California LGBT groups in return for an end to the boycott. The money, The Union-Tribune reports, would be used by the groups to hold meetings and fundraisers at his hotels.
Californians Against Hate dismissed the attempted settlement, saying the boycott will continue.
“He is clearly trying to buy his way out of this, and it will not work,” spokesperson Fred Karger told the paper in an e-mail.
“Their proposal is a real slap in the face to the gay community and to all fair-minded people who believe in equality and support full civil rights for all gays and lesbians,” Karger said.
After Prop 8 passed last November, a legal challenge was mounted. The California Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the vote any day.