Today’s letter – boycotts are an unfortunate outcome of intolerance

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

San Diego Hotelier Doug “Papa” Manchester contributed $125,000 to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign. His three properties have been boycotted by fair minded Californians since July of last year. Guests at the Grand Hyatt are greeted by protesters, and groups seeking a meeting place are successfully warned away. It has been quite effective.

Michael Stetz, a columnist for the San Diego Union-Tribune, reported that Mr. Manchester is irate. He told his CFO “I am now really angry, and I consider this a personal attack on myself and my family.”

I can sympathize, but I have no sympathy. Papa Manchester spent $125,000 to attack me and my family. Now the shoe is on the other foot, right where it belongs.

Governor, this is the inevitable result of wedge politics. Whenever you deny people the ability to participate fully in our society and economy, everybody loses. Please support Harvey Milk Day and the Freedom to Marry, so our business can stay here in California where it belongs.


Today’s letter – Buying with Dignity and Fairness

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger –

The Human Rights Campaign released their annual Buying Guide for Equality last week. In addition to rankings for brands and stores, it has fun marketing facts, such as “77% of heterosexuals are likely to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits above one that does not” and “1 in 4 adults say they have switched products or service providers because they found a competing company that supports causes that benefit the GLBT community.”

It is not shocking that there are so many companies with high ratings – all you have to do is treat all your employees with dignity and fairness regardless of their sexual orientation. What is surprising is that there are entertainment companies with less than perfect scores (Vivendi Universal scored 35) and that there still companies with zeros – like Exxon Mobil Corp.

Businesses understand that treating your employees with dignity and fairness is not only right, but also profitable. When is California going to learn this?

I wish you would end your support of special rights for heterosexuals and instead support a California that gives all of her citizens the same freedom, the freedom to marry.