Gay marriage proponents in California
are following through on their pledge to publicize large donors and
boycott businesses supporting Proposition 8, the ballot initiative
that would make gay marriage in the State illegal once more.
Californians Against Hate first called
for the boycott of Doug Manchester's two San Diego hotels, the
Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand Del Mar, and his McCall, Idaho
resort, the Whitetail Club, after the hotelier donated $125,000 to
support the gay marriage ban.
Manchester has said publicly that the
boycott was having no effect on his businesses, that he supported gay
workers and welcomed gays and lesbians at his hotels. But a top
company official fretted that the
boycott could cost millions of dollars in lost business, reports The
San Diego Union-Tribune.
effort will cost you millions of dollars of lost revenue and possibly
tens of millions of dollars in lost value for both the Manchester
Grand Hyatt and The Grand Del Mar,” wrote Paul Wilkins, chief
financial officer for the hotel group, in an email to Manchester.
“Nearly every other luxury hotel in California is actively seeking
out and marketing to the gay community to get their business ... We
should be doing the same.”
On Thursday, the group launched a
website and a call-in campaign against San Diego businessman Terry
Caster, owner of A-1 Self Storage.
“This guy must really not like
same-sex marriage,” said Fred Karger, Campaign Manager of
Californians Against Hate in a The Huffington Post blog
post. “Mr. Caster and many of his eight sons and daughters
and their spouses have given a combined total of $293,000 to the
Protect Marriage campaign between January and July of 2008.”
That makes the Caster family's combined
contribution the largest from San Diego County.
Christian fundamentalist leaders have
issued boycotts against American businesses they deemed too gay
friendly, with mixed results. The American Family Association (AFA)
is currently boycotting McDonald's over claims they support the “gay
agenda.” However, the hamburger chain has recently posted improved
sales figures. And a two-year boycott against Ford Motor Company for
advertising in the gay media ended when the automaker stopped
running all niche advertising as the economy soured.
“More and more business leaders are
adopting policies, and creating work places, that put a welcome mat
out for the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community,”
said Steve Ralls, director of communications for Parents, Families
and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).
Backers of the “Call Terry Caster”
campaign also published the top ten gay marriage ban donors. The
list, labeled the “dishonor roll,” includes: The Knights of
Columbus, National Organization for Marriage, John Templeton
Foundation President John Templeton, Fieldstead & Company,
American Family Association, Elsa Prince, Focus on the Family, the
Terry Caster family, Dorothy Nielson, and Doug Manchester.
“These people are pouring in money
into California to eliminate our freedom to marry, like we've never
seen before,” said Karger. “They want to bully us and crush us
and end any possibility of same sex couples having the freedom to
marry throughout the United States. They are willing to spend tens
of millions of dollars to do just that.”
The group says $10 million is being
poured into the anti-gay measure each month.