Monday, February 16, 2009

UPDATE: Cleve Jones, Courage Campaign's Rick Jacobs, to Join Protest Urging President Clinton to Honor Boycott at Manchester Hyatt

UPDATE: Clinton's Chief-of-Staff has responded to the protests surrounding Clinton's speech at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Here's a portion:

[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."

For the full text, go to Towleroad.


WHAT: Urging President Clinton to respect the boycott of the Manchester Hyatt, longtime gay-rights activist Cleve Jones, featured in the film "Milk," and Courage Campaign founder and chair Rick Jacobs will join a protest rally outside the hotel.

The Courage Campaign today launched an online petition here.

WHO: Cleve Jones, UNITE HERE, longtime activist, Founder of NAMES Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt, featured in film "MILK",Rick Jacobs, Founder and Chair, Courage Campaign

Manchester Grand Hyatt
1 Market Place
San Diego, CA 92101

Sunday, February 15, 2009
11:00 a.m. (Clinton is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m.)


President Clinton is scheduled to give a paid speech this Sunday at the Manchester Hyatt in San Diego to the annual convention of the International Franchise Association. To give this speech, President Clinton will have to violate a union boycott and labor dispute -- the workers at the hotel lack job security and the housekeepers face onerous workloads.

But that's not all. President Clinton will also be offending supporters of marriage equality. Doug Manchester, the owner of the hotel, contributed $125,000 in early seed money to the Proposition 8 campaign.

Jones and Jacobs earlier signed an open letter to Clinton requesting he reconsider his speaking engagement at the hotel.

"It is ironic that, by showing up at the Manchester Hyatt on Sunday, President Clinton will provide comfort to Ken Starr and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund, who are now trying to defend the constitutionality of Prop 8 before the state Supreme Court," said Rick Jacobs, upon learning Clinton intends to speak at the hotel on Sunday. "Doug Manchester's significant $125,000 contribution to the "Yes on 8" campaign helped pass Prop 8 -- money that made Starr's case possible."

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