Will Bill Clinton Bust Prop 8 Boycott for Bucks?

bill-clinton-photographDoes Bubba feel the pain of gays and lesbians and immigrant workers or is he just in it for the cash? A group of San Diego gay rights activists and labor leaders are urging the Former-President Bill Clinton to honor an ongoing boycott at the city’s Mancester Grand Hyatt. The hotel’s owner, Doug Manchester, contributed $125,000 in “seed money” to get Prop. 8 on the ballot and is also in the middle of a labor dispute with the AFL-CIO, California Labor Federation and the San Diego Labor Council. Clinton is scheduled to deliver a paid speech at the venue on Sunday.

NAMES Project founder Cleve Jones, Courage Campaign head Rick Jacobs and Fred Karger of Californians against Hate are just some of the progressive gay rights leaders urging Clinton to consider that “neither labor nor the gay community can tolerate a hotel whose profits are used to take away equal rights from gay couples and create poor working conditions for women and immigrants.”

The California Nurses Association recently honored the boycott of the Manchester Hyatt and groups that have canceled business from the hotel include: International Fund of Employee Benefits, Legal Writing Institute, Society of American Law Teacher, California Nurses Association and San Diego Association of Realtors.

Should Clinton decide to speak, he will almost undoubtedly have to cross a picket line to do so. As an AFL-CIO sanctioned boycott and strike, picketers regularly march outside the San Diego building.

Yesterday, Manchester defended his contribution to the San Diego Union Tribune, which reported:

“Manchester said his hotels and restaurants welcome gays and lesbians as employees and as customers. “I don’t want to offend anybody,” he said.

But Manchester said he decided to donate because he has heard that schools that teach that marriage is between a man and a woman could be sued for discriminating against gays and lesbians.

“When they say that we cannot say that a marriage is between a man and a woman, that’s where I draw the line,” Manchester said.”