$125K Donation to Protect Marriage Draws Boycott Calls, More Support

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By Eric Young, Christian Post Reporter
July 19, 2008|2:50 pm

Pro-gay activists are calling for a boycott against two Southern California hotels after their owner donated $125,000 to support a ballot initiative to protect marriage in the state of California.

A broad based coalition of gay and lesbian organizations was scheduled to hold a demonstration and rally Friday in front of one of Doug Manchester’s two San Diego hotels to officially kick off the boycott.

Manchester, CEO of the Manchester Financial Group of San Diego, contributed $125,000 to qualify Proposition 8, an Initiative Constitutional Amendment which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, for the Nov. 4 ballot.

The boycott on his hotels has been framed by supporters of the ballot initiative as intimidation of those who express their political views.

"We feel that if Mr. Manchester and any other individuals give huge amounts of money to take away our freedom to marry, then the LGBT community, our families and our friends should fight back against these purveyors of hate," expressed Fred Karger, campaign manager of the newly formed Californians Against Hate, in a released statement.

"We will identify these individuals and companies on our web site … as soon as their names become available to us," added Karger.

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On Tuesday, Brian S. Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage California, a group supporting Proposition 8, sent out an e-mail message warning of the boycott, calling it a “bullying” tactic.

He noted, however, that the boycott had actually drawn new supporters and money to the campaign against same-sex “marriage.”

The “stunt they pulled against Doug Manchester ended up raising $100,000 for the amendment in 24 hours,” he wrote in the e-mail, according to the New York Times.

It “prompted at least 2,000 new marriage supporters to join our ranks,” he added, asking e-mail recipients to also donate.

On Wednesday, Manchester defended his decision to donate, stating that the issue is about free speech.

“While I respect everyone’s choice of partner, my Catholic faith and longtime affiliation with the Catholic Church leads me to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman,” he told the NY Times.

It has been over one month now since the landmark California Supreme Court ruling overturning bans on gay "marriage" went into effect and clerks began handing out gender-neutral “marriage” licenses.

In response to the controversial 4-3 court decision, pro-family activists have been mobilizing California voters to support Proposition 8, which qualified for the November ballot two weeks after the California high court’s infamous decision.

If approved by a majority of voters on Nov. 4, the amendment would overturn the Supreme Court ruling, leaving Massachusetts once again as the only state that recognizes same-sex “marriage.”

Since 2004, when the Massachusetts State Supreme Court made its ruling to legalize gay “marriage,” 26 states have passed a constitutional ban on the practice, while over a dozen others have passed laws limiting or outlawing it.

 

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