The American Psychological Association
(APA) will reduce its use of a San Diego hotel being boycotted by a
coalition of gay rights groups and union leaders when it holds its
annual convention in August.
Against Hate first launched the boycott against Doug Manchester's
two San Diego hotels, the Manchester Grand Hyatt and the Grand Del
Mar, in July 2008 after the hotelier donated $125,000 to the campaign
to ban gay marriage in California, Proposition 8.
The APA Convention, which draws up to
14,000 attendees, will take place at the San Diego Convention Center.
However, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is one of three hotels to be
used for governance meetings, social events and guest accommodations.
“The number of governance meetings
and social events taking place at the Hyatt has been greatly
reduced,” APA Spokeswoman Rhea Farberman told On Top Magazine
in an email.
The group's governing body, the Council
of Representatives, announced last week that it will not meet at the
Manchester Grand Hyatt.
“Today's decision allows Council to
make an important statement that it stands in solidarity with the
LGBT community and its allies in protest of Mr. Manchester's
political views,” Dr. Carol Goodheart, the group's president, said.
“Members of our Council will now not be faced with having to
choose between their responsibilities as members of Council and their
wish to express their opposition to Mr. Manchester's action by not
entering his hotel.”
“The Council of Representatives
meeting is our largest governance meeting,” Farberman added “There
are other smaller meetings and social events also moving out of the
Hyatt.” Approximately 30 meetings have dropped plans to meet at
the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
Fred Karger, founder of Californians
Against Hate, hailed the group's decision.
“Kudos to the leadership of the
American Psychological Association (APA),” Karger told On Top
Magazine. “They have shown great courage and dedication to the
cause of equal rights for all by supporting our boycott of the
Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.”
“The APA joins the ever growing list
of major national organizations saying no to Doug Manchester because
of the obscene amount of money he gave to qualify and pass
Proposition 8. Prop 8 took away marriage equality from millions of
Californians,” he added.
By most accounts the boycott has been
successful. A conservative estimate, Karger said, would be $18
million in lost revenues for the Manchester Grand Hyatt alone.
While the APA is not calling for a
general boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, it has made other
meeting spaces and lodging choices available for members who do not
want to use the hotel.