Saturday, Febraury 14, 2009
Former president Bill Clinton showed his true colors by refusing to cancel a speaking engagement to a trade group at a hotel being boycotted because of the owner’s support of Proposition 8, the measure passed last November which bans same-sex marriage in California.
Clinton is scheduled to address the annual convention of the International Franchise Association at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego this Sunday.
The hotel’s owner, Douglas Manchester — who is a Mormon, contributed $125,000 to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.
Following the passage of Prop 8, activists mounted a campaign to boycott the hotel. Several groups already have canceled conventions at the hotel costing Manchester’s facility an estimated $2 million.
Among those who bailed out of meeting at the hotel are conventions for the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, the San Diego Board of Realtors, the American Assn. of Law Schools and the California Nurses Association.
Gay rights advocates will protest Clinton’s speech Sunday outside the hotel.
“Public officials must lead by example,” San Diego Councilman Todd Gloria told The Los Angeles Times. “I hope President Clinton respects the importance of this issue and moves his speech.”
A spokesperson for the former President told the Associated Press that while the former president sticks by his views about gay rights, he plans to honor his commitment to give the speech.