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article imageGay Activists to Picket Bill Clinton at San Diego Hotel Speech

By Sandy Sand     Feb 13, 2009 in Politics
Protesting former President Bill Clinton’s upcoming speech at a San Diego Hotel owned by a Prop. 8 supporter, gay-rights activists are threatening to picket the hotel in protest of Clinton’s appearance.
In an open letter to Clinton, the president of the San Diego hotel workers union and several gay-rights activists pleaded with the former president to cancel his appearance at the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel on Sunday.
The owner of the hotel, Doug Manchester gave $125,000 to the pro-Prop. 8 campaign, which added an amendment to the California State Constitution outlawing gay marriage.
“It is such a slap in the face to the labor movement and the LGBT community," said Cleve Jones, a veteran gay-rights activist, of Clinton's plans. "His participation is helping to further enrich a proven enemy of equality."
Jones stressed that Clinton will have to cross a picket line if he goes ahead with his speech at the hotel.
The controversial measure remains under a legal cloud, since only the state legislature can alter the constitution, and the case is expected to take years to work its way through the courts. All gay marriages have been halted in the state, pending the outcome of the court cases.
Manchester, along with many others who supported Prop. 8, have been constant targets of gay-rights activists.
In response, Clinton spokesman, Matt McKenna, said the former president would have turned down the invitation to speak if it had come from Manchester, but it was extended by the International Franchise Association, which is holding its convention at the San Diego hotel from Saturday through Tuesday.
“Clinton is proud of his record on gay issues, but wants to honor the commitment he made to the International Franchise Association,” McKenna said.
"Had the owner of the hotel invited him to give the speech, he wouldn't have come,” McKenna added.
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