SAN DIEGO, California (Observer Update) - The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego has been boycotted by the LGBT community since it was learned that its owner, Doug Manchester, donated $125K to the effort to pass Prop 8. On Sunday, former president Bill Clinton sashayed past 200 protestors who were at the entrance to the hotel to deliver a speech to the International Franchise Association. The LGBT activists and allies demonstrated alongside union members who are picketing the hotel because of the alleged working conditions for non-unionized maids.Rex Wockner reports (more photos at his pad):
"An openly gay hotel spokesman, Kelly Commerford, said 'the voters have spoken' on same-sex marriage in California and that the views of Manchester do not represent those of Global Hyatt Corp., which has received high marks on scorecards charting corporations' policies on GLBT issues.
"...Near the demonstration's end, four gay activists entered the hotel in an attempt to deliver to Clinton 30,000 signatures collected by the Courage Campaign urging Clinton to relocate his convention address to a different venue.
"...The activists requested that Clinton or a representative meet with them to receive the petitions. The hotel staff said they would relay the message, then walked away. After several minutes, the staffers returned and the activists repeated their request. The staffers again said they would relay the message, then walked away."
No one from Clinton's camp came out to meet with the activists, but it's not clear whether the hotel reps ever brought the request to the former president's staff.
Towleroad has the full response from the Clinton camp. A snippet:
"[Clinton] was in no way involved in choosing the venue nor was he aware of the controversy related to it until we received your letter last week. As you know, President Clinton shares many of your concerns and wishes this event could have taken place elsewhere. Upon receiving you letter, we made several attempts to change the venue. Unfortunately, the hosting organization responded that they were unable to do so, and President Clinton believes he should honor his contractual obligation. President Clinton has a long-standing record of support for the LGBT community. He strongly opposed Proposition 8, speaking out against it, and recording calls to California voters urging them to defeat it. He still opposes it and hopes it can be reversed."