Archive for June, 2009

New Mormon Temple’s Angel Struck by lightning

Monday, June 15th, 2009

Associated Press
Monday, June 15, 2009

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple, Angel Moroni statue
was struck by lightening late Saturday.
SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – Mother Nature left her mark on a new Mormon temple over the weekend when a lightning strike hit the building, blackening the golden angel that tops it.

The 60,000 square-foot Oquirrh Mountain Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was hit Saturday during a rain storm.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah says no structural damage resulted from the strike on the Angel Moroni. She says a crew will re-gild the 10-foot-6-inch statue soon.

Most Mormon temples are topped with a statue of the angel, who Mormons believe led church founder Joseph Smith to the golden plates from which the Book of Mormon originated.

The Oquirrh temple is Utah’s 13th and the 130th church temple worldwide. It will open in late August and will serve an estimated 83,000 Latter-day Saints.

GLT Says, "Arnold – Fire Doug Manchester"

Friday, June 12th, 2009

editorial
Lawyers turn back on Manchester Hyatt


Published Thursday, 11-Jun-2009 in
issue 1120

It’s been a rough few months for Doug Manchester, owner of the Manchester Hyatt. And with the recent news that the American Association of Justice (AAJ) – and its 2,000-plus attorney members – is taking its annual conference elsewhere, things aren’t looking much better.

In fact, the AAJ has announced it is moving its annual summer convention to San Francisco. The event was originally scheduled to be held at Manchester’s Hyatt here in San Diego, but after Manchester contributed $125,000 to the “Yes on Proposition 8” campaign and the ensuing boycott, the AAJ decided to take its lucrative business away.

“The American Association for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, has relocated its annual convention to avoid meeting at the San Diego hotel that has become the target of a boycott because of its owner’s support of Proposition 8. In an undated letter addressed to members, President Les Weisbrod of Miller, Curtis & Weisbrod, in Dallas, announced that the organization’s convention has been rescheduled to take place from July 25 to 29 in San Francisco.”

Manchester Hyatt has already lost a purported $7 million in the last year as a coalition of labor and GLBT organizations have banded together for the boycott. Californians Against Hate partnered with Unite Here Local 30 (the hotel worker’s union) and several other GLBT organizations, including San Diego Pride July 18, 2008.

On a larger scale, most economic forecasters, including the prestigious Williams Institute, estimate that the passage of Proposition 8 will cost the state more than $800 million in the next three years, due to a loss of revenue for weddings and various auxiliary services.

Irony # 1: What’s ironic about this, of course, is that the state has a California Travel and Tourism Commission whose sole task is to bring people and their dollars to California. The governor appoints leaders in the travel and tourism industry to sit on this powerful commission for two-year terms.

And who should we find on this prestigious and vital commission?
Why, “Papa” Doug Manchester, of course. Manchester (papadoug@manchesterfinancialgroup.com) was appointed on Oct. 12, 2007, and his term is set to expire Dec. 31, 2009.

Irony #2: The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest GLBT rights advocate, lists Hyatt Hotels, with corporate headquarters in Chicago , as one of the “Best Places to Work for GLBT Equality.”

Both the California Travel and Tourism Commission and Hyatt Corporate have similar goals: to bring families and business travelers to hotels and increase cash infusions into local economies.
There are few groups of individuals who have more disposable income to spend at restaurants, theaters and on sight-seeing than attorneys. And while California itself didn’t lose the convention, as it merely migrated up-state to San Francisco, who is to say that it won’t next time? Phoenix , Las Vegas or Seattle are plausible alternatives.

We find it hard to imagine that other local commissioners are thrilled with Manchester’s actions. Andrea Fichthorn (andrew.fichthorn@seaworld.com), Executive Vice President and General Manager of Sea World San Diego can’t be pleased. Neither can David Cohn of the Cohn Restaurant Group (david@cohnrestaurants.com). Several of Cohn’s restaurants are within walking distance of the Manchester Hyatt.

As a community it is our obligation to stand by our brothers and sisters during this boycott, and we take our hats off to those who have publicly spoken out against holding the annual conference at the Manchester, including many prominent local attorneys and even District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
It’s time now for the governor to take action. While Manchester’s term expires at the end of the calendar year, Gov. Schwarzenegger could send a strong message that discrimination is not good business practice and that it will not be tolerated.

Gov. Schwarzenegger should ask Manchester to tender his resignation as commissioner. The commissioner’s role is to bring money into the state and local economies; as a “commissioner” Manchester has done just the opposite.

We’re not suggesting that every person in California who runs a business has to support marriage equality, but we are certainly in the midst of the very real consequences of what happens when business owners make public displays of their personal beliefs.

And while Manchester has hired a crisis-management firm and dispatched his marketing team to global travel and tourism conventions, the issue is far from resolved.

Manchester should resign his post at the California Travel and Tourism Commission and begin dialogue with the leaders of the boycott. Nothing less is acceptable. Nothing less will bring this to an end. And, frankly, it just makes common sense.

As Pride season nears, we urge you to remember the boycott isn’t over and there are several other places to stay in San Diego during Pride. We urge you to continue to boycott the Manchester Hyatt, as well as Manchester’s other properties, including the Grand Del Mar Resort

San Diego Yes on 8 “Celebration”

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

San Diego Yes on 8 “Celebration” BIG BUST
Only 200 to 300 People Show Up Sunday

SAN DIEGO, CA – Considering that every major Evangelical and Christian leader in San Diego spoke at and helped organize Sunday’s Yes on 8 campaign rally, we raise the question, where were all the people? Where were all their parishioners and supporters? On a Sunday, no less. Only 200 to 300 people showed up according to the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. This is the same leadership that expected 80,000 people at Qualcomm Stadium for “The Call” the Saturday before last November’s election. Maybe 8,000 showed up. They even had James Dobson speaking to a nearly empty football stadium.
Jim Garlow (pictured above) of Skyline Church and Miles McPhearson of the Rock Church (Miss California’s Church) + 15 other religious and political leaders could only muster a couple hundred people to come to the San Diego County building right after Sunday services – pathetic.

Jim Garlow had 6 (count ‘em, 6) bodyguards with him all day! There were lots of San Diego police at the Rally, but Pastor Garlow brought his own militia.

There were no Mormon speakers on the program, in spite of all they did to pass Proposition 8. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) have a huge presence and a big Temple in San Diego . Maybe this is why;

The Wall Street Journal quoted Master of Ceremonies, Pastor Jim Garlow, as saying, “I would not, in all candor, have been meeting them (Mormons) or talking with them had it not been for” the marriage campaign. Rev. Garlow said he had developed a “friendship” with the Mormons he met, although he feels the theological differences remain “unbridgeable.”


Nice way to treat the Mormons who raised $30 million to pass Prop 8!
Brian Brown, Executive Director of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), brought his entire family to San Diego from their home in New Jersey . That’s his wife and 6 small children. Maybe they got free rooms at the Boycotted Manchester Grand Hyatt downtown. Owner Doug Manchester gave a very early $125,000 to qualify Prop 8 for last November’s ballot.

Brown who works for Maggie Gallagher at NOM in Princeton , NJ was the featured speaker. Not quite the star quality of Charlize Thereon and Eric McCormack who spoke at Saturday’s No on 8 – Meet in the Middle 4 Equality Rally in Fresno , but Brian did a good job of rallying the couple hundred faithful.
Between Pastor Garlow’s 6 Body Guards and Brian’s 6 kids, they had a built in crowd. Are Yes on 8 supporters feeling ashamed and not wanting to go out and “celebrate?” We’re thinking, probably yes.
We at Californians Against Hate applaud all of the fair-minded people who stayed at home Sunday and did not turn out to “celebrate” the rights of millions of Californians being yanked away from them last November 4th.
Miss California ’s Pastor, Miles McPhearson, with Garlow looking on.

It was interesting to see that the bulk of those who did make it were all quite elderly.

We thought this was the best part of the Rally, the time keeper!

Well, it was one for the record books:
“Most Disappointing Victory Rally of 2009.”