Californians Against Hate said on
Friday it was ending its two-week-old boycott against Ken Garff
Automotive Group after the company agreed to adopt a
nondiscrimination policy for gay, lesbian and transgender employees.
The gay rights group announced its
boycott of the Utah-based company at a Salt Lake City news conference
after it had learned that Katharine Garff had donated $100,000 to
support Proposition 8, the California measure that yanked back the
right of gays and lesbians to marry.
Fred Karger, founder of Californians
Against Hate, said he had altered course after a series of meetings
with company leaders but offered few details.
Karger said several meetings between
himself, John and Robert Garff and Utah philanthropist and gay rights
advocate Bruce Bastian had produced a positive result.
Bastian said Garff officials had agreed
to implement a nondiscrimination policy for gay, lesbian and
transgender employees but also added that “they are pretty much
“We were able to discuss this openly
and honestly with the Garffs and reach an understanding,” Bastian
told the Salt Lake Tribune. “I think they understand now
why this was upsetting and hurtful to many people.”
Karger called a two hour meeting with
CEO John Garff “wide-ranging and very productive,” and the
settlement reached “a happy ending.”
The group's website devoted to the
boycott, boycottkengarffautomotive.com, was deleted over the weekend.
The Ken Karff Automotive Group is a 53
car dealership empire located mostly in Utah. John Garff has
repeatedly said his mother's donation to the Yes-on-8 campaign was a
person decision that should not reflect on the company.