Uniting against hate
Published Thursday, 10-Jul-2008 in issue 1072
Education is an important tool in the fight for marriage equality; local and statewide campaigns are working tirelessly to recruit volunteers to educate voters on Proposition 8, the November ballot initiative that, if passed, would limit marriage to between one man and one woman.
We certainly shouldn’t discourage any attempt within our community or among our allies to educate people about the anti-marriage equality amendment and our foes; however we believe every possible resource available within our diverse, eclectic, creative and, for the most part, well-off community needs to be used to win this fight in November.
In the past, we’ve written about the need to prioritize: defeating Proposition 8 is the community’s top priority between now and November.
This week, a broad coalition of same-sex marriage supporters launched a full-scale boycott of Douglas Manchester’s properties, including the Manchester Grand Hyatt in Downtown San Diego. Manchester donated $125,000 to ProtectMarriage.com, the organization behind the November ballot initiative. Developer Terry Caster, owner of A1 Self Storage, and Robert Hoehn, owner of Hoehn Motors in Carlsbad, also made significant donations to the campaign. Members of our community and allies should think twice before doing business with them.
The coalition, which includes labor and community leaders, will inform people about contributions by businesses and individuals to the discriminatory ballot initiative.
What’s best: the coalition is seeking very little support, and absolutely no financial support, from the community. Rather, the organizations comprising the coalition are utilizing resources already in place and new media (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) to promote the grassroots boycott.
The labor union launching the boycott today, UNITE Here Local 30, understands the community’s investment in defeating Proposition 8, and is rallying its members to lead an effective campaign. Our community has a powerful ally in labor leaders, who, in leading the boycott, have pledged to preserve same-sex couples’ freedom to marry.
Fred Karger, spokesperson for Californians Against Hate, a new nonprofit organization that tracks donations of more than $5,000 to ProtectMarriage.com, has also vowed not to take contributions away from defeating the marriage initiative.
Using few resources, these organizations have garnered an incredible amount of support from the community, including City Council candidate Todd Gloria, San Diego LGBT Pride, San Diego Pride at Work, and a slew of other community leaders.
This new coalition should be lauded for its attempts, and for its innovative approaches to spreading the word.
It’s important, now, for our community to flex its economic muscle; in fact, same-sex marriage, if allowed to pass in November, is expected to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into our state’s fledgling economy in the next five years. And, according to a recent study released by the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation and the Law at the University of California at Los Angeles, the buying power of gays and lesbians may reach $835 billion by 2011.
It is important to remind our opponents that the pink dollar is powerful. We will only support businesses that support constitutional rights for all Californians and Americans.
Karger’s organization this week launched three Web sites to saturate the net with information on the boycott. For more information, visit CaliforniansAgainstHate.com, MarchOnManchester.com and BoycottManchesterHotels.com.
Join Californians Against Hate Friday July 18 at 1 p.m. at the Manchester Grand Hyatt for a demonstration and rally to kick off the boycott.