Mormon-founded Marriott supports DOMA repeal. So does eBay, Reuters, Aetna.

This is interesting news, and a smart move by Marriott.  With the ongoing, decades-long, Mormon war against the civil rights of African-Americans, women, Jews, and then gays, for a number of us, Mormon businesses like Marriott joined the ranks of Cracker Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Dominos as places good progressives avoid.

It seems Marriott has seen the light.  Not that its founders have stopped funding the Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City, and thus helping finance the Mormon jihad against gays and pretty much every other civil rights group in America.  But at least a Mormon -founded business, with lots of Mormons inside (and until just recently, always Mormon-run), is recognizing that it doesn’t make smart business sense to go along with his own faith’s aggressively virulent bigotry.  And that’s an interesting and important move.

More from the Human Rights Campaign:

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today the formation of a business coalition made up of Fortune 500 and brand name companies that support ending federal discrimination against legally married gay and lesbian couples. Currently, because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), lawfully married same-sex couples are not recognized by the federal government and are thereby denied more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits — including filing taxes jointly, taking unpaid leave to care for a sick spouse, and Social Security survivor benefits — that come with marriage.

Mormons

Mormons via Shutterstock

The new Business Coalition for DOMA Repeal is throwing its support behind the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals DOMA and recognizes all legal marriages for federal purposes. The Respect for Marriage Act has attracted bipartisan support. Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Charles Bass (R-NH) were among those supporting the bill in the last Congress. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have sponsored the legislation in the House and Senate, and are likely to reintroduce it in the current Congress next month.

“Marriott was founded on the principle of putting its people first, and that includes our LGBT associates,” said David Rodriguez, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Marriott International. “We are proud of our longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal treatment of all our employees within our benefits programs. Joining the Business Coalition for DOMA Repeal affirms that commitment, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”

Joining Marriott as members of the Business Coalition for DOMA Repeal are: A|X Armani Exchange, Aetna Inc., Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Diageo North America, eBay Inc., Electronic Arts, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Replacements, Ltd., Sun Life Financial U.S., and Thomson Reuters.  Aside from being fundamentally unfair to married same-sex couples, DOMA also causes administrative headaches and tax inequities for companies as they simply try to treat their employees fairly. The coalition continues to grow as more companies take a stand and affirm that DOMA is bad for business.

Interesting that the pro-DOMA quote doesn’t come from former CEO and current Chairman of the Board Bill Marriott himself.  Sure, it comes from the HR director, which makes sense normally.  But in Marriott’s unique case, I’d like to hear a little more from Bill Marriott himself about the important of gay marriage.

Another thing.  When Bill Marriott stops giving 10% of his salary to the Mormons (assuming he does, like all good Mormons are supposed to), then we’ll talk about rehabilitating Marriott’s good name.  As I noted in a post in 2008, when Marriott was freaking out over all the anti-Mormon publicity following the Mormon-led repeal of marriage equality in California:

Bill Marriott, the head of Marriott hotels, issued a statement yesterday, apparently out of concern that all the Prop 8 blowback was going to lead to a boycott of Marriott. Bill Marriott rightly noted that his business has a perfect rating from the Human Rights Campaign. And that’s swell. But there are a few problems with that argument.

First, I’m sure Domino’s and Coors probably weren’t particular anti-gay companies per se. But the people running the company gave their money to some pretty nasty conservative causes. That money came from us, their customers. And I suspect Bill Marriott, as a good Mormon, gives 10% of his gross income to the Mormon church as is required. And the Mormon church is personally responsible for taking away our rights in California. We were winning on Prop 8 until the Mormons parachuted in and dropped as much as $20 million (one estimate is that Mormons gave 77% of the entire budget the bigots had to push Prop 8). The Mormons did this to us. So I have a problem with enriching Bill Marriott so that he can enrich bigots who take away our civil rights (and who convert dead Jewish Holocaust victims to Mormonism without their families’ consent, among other nasty things).

It doesn’t matter if Bill Marriott didn’t give to Prop 8. He is a major donor to the Mormon Church. And they use that money to impose their religious views on others, whether you like it or not.

Second, Bill Marriott may not have given to Prop 8, but people on his staff, who run some of his hotels, did. And we pay their salaries. We pay for those donations every time we stay at a Marriott.

Bill Marriott surely knows that the Mormons are serious anti-gay activists, and that his donations to the Mormons will help fund, in part, their ongoing anti-gay hate, just like every other tithe made to the Mormons.  When Bill Marriott and Marriott’s top staff stop using our money to fund hateful and intolerant people, and/or the Mormon headquarters gives up its aggressively bigoted activism, then Marriott will be forgiven.  Having said that, it’s taken Coors two decades and then some to clear its good name.  Marriott and the Mormons should pay attention.  Once the damage is done, good luck reversing it.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Michael

    This is wonderful news. Thank you so much for publishing this! Now I know where to shop! I already buy 90% of my products online. I only use Ebay. So it’s good to know my money is going to businesses who support the values I believe in. I won’t use Amazon anymore. See? It works both way faggots.

  • Indi135

    The trinity isn’t specifically spoken to in the Old or New Testaments and for a few hundred years Christian theology and scholars also had disparate views on this topic until they eventually came to a consensus.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html

    Do you suggest for that first 300 years that all of those Christians were false?

    As far as our Christianity goes, I suppose it depends on whether you consider Christianity to be a belief in Christ or a belief in the Trinity. If that is the case, then ok, I am not Christian as you define it. But I do believe in the same Christ that came to the Jews, I simply believe that he was his own person, the literal son of God.

  • Indi135

    They aren’t Mormons, the people who live in Colorado City had ancestors who were Mormon 150 years ago, but they have never been.

  • Indi135

    Many religions dawn sacred clothing as sign of respect and symbol of their faith and beliefs, that is not new to anyone. I think you have a lot of misinformation about other things regarding my religion, but I can’t speak to that because I have no idea what you are talking about. We don’t condone sexual abuse of any kind. If you are talking about Warren Jeffs; he isn’t a member of my church and never has been.

    As far as fake missing gospels go, well. I don’t know if you are Christian or not, and it may not matter for this discussion. But millions of people believe that God sent his son to visit the Jewish people. If a person believes that we are all important to God, it doesn’t seem too far out that he might have sent his son to visit other people also, that his visit to the Jews may have not been the only one, but rather the only one we know about. The Bible is one collection of scripture, but there were others that were chosen to be left out of that. Perhaps there are others out there still we don’t know about yet. I don’t know.

    It may be blithering nonsense to you, but it is important to me and the way that I perceive God. You may not agree with my perspective, and you don’t have to. I guess choosing to hate me for it is up to you, but I can’t imagine how it is threatening you.

  • Passer Byer

    The hate in this article and comments is staggering… Wow…

  • rubart

    I’ve boycotted Marriott for years, and have urged everyone I know to do so, for the reasons this article mentions. But my boycott is now over.
    I applaud Bill Marriott’s current decision to repeal DOMA and support the Respect for Marriage Act. Yes, I suspect it’s merely business opportunism–after all, he is a devout Mormon.
    But what I’d be asking otherwise is for Bill Marriott to etiher leave/denounce his church or stop tithing to it (same thing, really). The reality is that progress is made in steps–often, smaller ones than we’d like.
    To me it’s significant that a corporation as widespred as Marriott, a name synonymous with “Mormon,” has taken a position in direct opposition to the Mormon Church. This, coupled with prominent Mormon Jon Huntsman’s outspoken support of gay marriage, makes it a wonderful week (at least to me) for weakening the Mormon church’s position.
    I don’t expect the Mormon church to ever change its position, for the simple reason that its “Plan of Salvation” stipulates “man and woman marriage only.” All I expect is that it stop sticking its nose into the rights of other Americans. Marriott and Huntsman clearly agree with me on this.
    Yes, some of any money I spend at Marriott will undoubtedly slip into the church’s coffers–just as some of Huntsman’s money will wind up supporting, via his church, anti-gay movements.
    But I feel we must support these first steps by individuals who once fought against us, to support us now. As we well know from the history of gay lib, one step leads to another, to another, to another. Nothing happens overnight. And who knows how many other Mormons Marriott and Huntsman will now influence.
    So I urge you to welcome Marriott’s position and give him and his corporation support and encouragement. He’s not “all the way there yet”–and may never be. But at least he’s walking toward us. And every step toward us is one more step, if only symbolically, away from his church.
    BTW, you can’t possibly expect someone to monitor what people on his/her staff do in the way of political contributions. That’s Big Brother at its worst. What if someone on the staff of a Christian fundamentalist organization made a donation to the Human Rights Commission–and was fired when his supervisor found out? Well, it’s the same un-American principle.

  • Civily Yours

    “the Mormon jihad against gays and pretty much every other civil rights group in America”

    “who convert dead Jewish Holocaust victims to Mormonism without their families’ consent, among other nasty things”

    C’mon John, really?

    Those are bigoted and prejudiced statements on your part. Pursue your agenda for equality but don’t muck it up w/ the same hash you’re protesting. You are asking the Mormon church to respect your principles, then return them the favor.

  • Ed Cook

    You obviously know nothing about the Mormon Church. They don’t fund any hate groups. The Mormon didn’t donate or give any money to political groups for anti gay anything. In fact they reach out to gays with open arms and are welcome in the church. Tell me one on going hate dialogue or program they are involved in. You won’t find one. How do I know? Because I am a gay Mormon.

  • laney

    Jihad is little much don’t you think. The author really should have checked his facts before he wrote this article.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    You may not agree with the idea of the Trinity, but it has been settled Christian doctrine since the first ecumenical council in 325. It seems to be referenced in the Bible in John 1:2.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    excellent report. Thanks

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I agree that the Trinity is preposterous nonsense, but it remains in fact the central theological foundation of Christianity.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What? Not on Kolob? How about the Marriot Hospitality Center? I’ll have coffee while you drink Kook-Aid.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You poor thing. “Yes, you won the demise of America as it was” : Why, yes, we are proud of abolishing slavery, Women’s emancipation, and civil rights, while not more than twenty years ago you were damning black Christians as inferior sons of Ham, and turning a blind eye to sister marriages and child sexual abuse.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Since when is a “progressive” anything but inflammatory, racist, and hateful.?” When they are a Mormon?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you, but when it comes to the Mormon fraud cult, I am rather informed bigot.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    one word: “fraud.”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well precious, the last I heard Mormon penises and vaginas are doing double duty to expand the tribe, particularly in evil places like Colorado City.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Please tell us about Kolob, magic underwear, the hat prophesies, magic glasses Jesus secret life in Utah, fake missing gospels, child sexual abuse and other blithering nonsense , which forms the base of what many historians consider one of the most outrageous frauds of the 19th century. Now, answer the questions.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Clearly a duppa aperture!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Sounds like you have a problem. Who cares?” ditto

  • Marriott Employee

    I take serious issue with the tone and the implications of this article. I’m a progressive, an ally of the LGBT community, who’s worked in support of Marriage Equality for years (since long before Prop 8 hit the fan.)
    I’m also a Marriott employee, working at an extension of our corporate headquarters. Your accusations against the Marriott *company*, calling us an anti-gay organization, are simply false.
    We offer an insurance plan that provides full benefits to LGBT domestic partners, that are equal to those given to legal spouses (this was true even before any state had passed marriage equality.) We have a non-discrimination policy that covers not only orientation, but also gender identity and expression. My own team lead is a gay man, and his partner is also a Marriott employee in a different capacity. The two men are very open about their relationship, even on the job.
    By comparison, I can’t think of a single Mormon employee in the building where I work (and as I stated above, we’re pretty high up in the company chain of command.) There may be some Mormons somewhere in the building, but they’re very rare, and they’re very quiet about their beliefs — religion just never comes up in conversation at the office. To the point that it’s much easier here to be openly gay than openly Mormon. Not what you’d expect from a “Mormon-run” company.
    Frankly, what I see you proposing is the replacement of “anti-gay bigotry” with “anti-Mormon bigotry”. That would not be progress. If you are fighting against the Marriott company (one of the most progressive and gay-friendly companies I’ve ever come across) just because we have one, single, solitary Mormon executive, then frankly you’ve got the wrong target, and you’re no better than the bigots you’re fighting against. Grow up.
    And even then, you’ve got your facts wrong. The majority of Bill Marriott’s income comes from his private investments, not from his company salary. If you’re advocating a boycott of our company for the purpose of reducing his salary, frankly it’s not going to make a difference to him. Bill Marriott is the last person you’re going to hurt. The victims instead would be all the rest of us employees down the line; many of whom are openly gay, or gay-rights supporters like myself.
    And in the meantime, I invite you and your readers to check out the following article, written by another LGBT activist who took exactly the opposite approach as yours. And the funny thing is, his approach actually worked. You might learn some things by reading it.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shane-l-windmeyer/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a_b_2564379.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

  • rebart

    What an ignorant bigot.

  • Snake

    I’m pretty neutral on this issue, but it seems to me that the author is at least as bigoted and intolerant of others’ views as the Mormons are.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    My friends care. You, sir, are an asshole.

  • rebart

    Yes, you won the demise of America as it was. You won a developing totalitarian state that will one day come to bite where you hurt most. America is now like WWII Germany. The few people who see what’s coming and try to warn the ignorant did lose, and will lose big again because America is over and you spoiled little brats who let your teacher brainwash you into something you wouldn’t have done had you lived your own life have succeeded in destroying a country. If you are one to collect your welfare and other entitlements that the declining few pay for with higher and higher taxes, then you certainly are happy. You are one of the leeches that Obama counted on for votes.

  • rebart

    How about a paragraph or two telling us why it’s bogus. Proof would be nice.

  • rebart

    You see this is the kind of hatred and anti-religion you queers cause. You define everything by what it does for your penis, or vagina, as the case may be. Everything you do, everything you talk about, all your politics, and all your anti-religion is motivated by your penis.

  • rebart

    You’ve very obviously never read the book of Mormon. If you do, please tell me how Joseph Smith could have described Lehies trail when parts of it have only been know recently. Don’t give me an ignorant, uneducated, unread answer. Answer the question.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    LOL……. meet you on Kolob.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Prejudice also comes to mind” rebart Simpson.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We do. The implications for Federal Civil Rights are central to Constitutional fairness.

  • rebart

    You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about?

  • rebart

    Hateful would be the term. Prejudice also comes to mind, as does hypocritical.

  • rebart

    Since when is a “progressive” anything but inflammatory, racist, and hateful. They really think they are not.

  • rebart

    Sounds like you have a problem. Who cares?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Everyone is entitled to their opinion” Particularly edifying when based on facts The Cicada is right: “Joseph Smith’s bogus, 19th-century tale” and that is the least of it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “We need national recognition of same sex marriage rights everywhere.” Absolutely!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Thanks for the run down. I didn’t know about that background in NM.

    You know, we used to imagine coming up with something better than marriage and tailor-made for our community, but I guess it’s we’re all going to end up being drawn into the marriage path.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Registering a legal marriage is not done in the bedroom, troll. There is nothing wrong with government regulating family law. The problem is with government discriminating at the insistence of bigots, including the Mormon hierarchy.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Funny that you couldn’t identify a single one of those holes, troll.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Yep. I despise anti-gay bigots, and they’ve earned every bit of that hate.

  • arcadesproject

    I’m pleased to hear that Marriott supports repeal of DOMA. Have they decided to give mops to the ladies who work for them as maids? Instead of requiring the maids to scrub floors on their hands and knees?

  • pete

    Government should stay out of the bedroom.

  • pete

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion – even if it spews hate. Like yours.

  • Pete

    The Trinity is a man made concept that is not even referenced in the bible, so be very careful about defining a Christian in these terms. Christianity is a behavior, not a belief in some man made concept like the Trinity. And… you missed Sue’s point completely. When one is inflammatory in defense of another’s alleged inflammations, it makes them no better. This article has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Even better than lacking a mini-DOMA, it’s been pointed out a bunch of times that New Mexico law does not specifically exclude same-sex marriage rights nor bar recognition of marriages performed elsewhere. It’s literally gender neutral.

    If I remember correctly, this lack of prohibition (and an equivocal statement by a GOP state senator) led one Bernalillo county office several years ago to decide to begin issuing licenses, unilaterally, but it was stopped almost immediately by the state courts and the 70 issued licenses declared invalid. Still, it was acknowledged by the court that the law wasn’t clear — they were just going by presumed intent.

    Every few years here, they do try to pass something — domestic partnership registry, civil unions, marriage equality — and so far every time it’s failed, mainly due to the fundamentalists (Catholics, Baptists) and the super-conservative eastern and southern parts of the state opposing the measure. However, each time it does seem to be getting closer to passage, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we got something within the next decade.

    As it stands though, I’m thinking about trying soon-ish to talk da wifey into traveling to one of the marriage equality states, and just get it done. That way if or when a big sea change happens, we’re already there. You’re right: A state-level court challenge is simply begging to be filed. NM law is clear in requiring the state to acknowledge the legality of marriages performed elsewhere in the country.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Nice only-comment-you’ve-ever-posted, troll. Please describe your strong commitment to the equal rights and dignity of gays and lesbians.

    People are entitled to disagree with and criticize ideologies, including the one derived from the Book of Mormon.

    By the way, criticizing the Book of Mormon is not criticizing the Gospel of Jesus Christ; it is criticizing Joseph Smith’s bogus, 19th-century tale.

  • Skeptical Cicada

    Oh, I agree. I was just trying to point out the irony/hypocrisy of Marriott (the company) supporting the RMA. It would have no effect on California couples because of the bigoted amendment that Marriott (the man) helped to get enacted there.

    I sympathize (although I thought you were in Boston, for some reason). Better to swallow hard and execute the appalling documents than put the validity of title into question. Sigh. We all do it.

    New Mexico is one of the only remaining states without a mini-DOMA. I’ve wondered why no one has taken a case to the New Mexico Supreme Court seeking recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages. It worked in Maryland (about a year before the marriage equality law).

    I guess I was also implicitly criticizing the federal bill. How could anyone remotely familiar with these issues draft a bill to extend federal recognition only to “marriages” but not “civil unions” and “domestic partnerships”?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Some of us are gladly biased against all organized religions.

    Especially those who make it their business to try to force non-believers to follow their arbitrary and often archaically outdated rules.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    My wife and I have had a CA registered domestic partnership since the very beginning, and of course did not opt out when it was enhanced to “merely” marriage-minus (i.e., just about everything but the reality of the word, and recognition almost nowhere but in Cali).

    We bought a house recently here in NM. And plastered all over the mortgage and title paperwork was “Rebecca xxxxxx AN UNMARRIED FEMALE and Stephanie yyyyyyyy AN UNMARRIED FEMALE.”

    Made me sick to my stomach every time I had to sign or initial a page saying that, because in my heart, I was committing perjury and contract fraud. Thing is, even if we were among the 18,000 actually married CA couples or married in any other state in the country or in Canada, the paperwork would not have been any different.

    We need more than a mere repeal or overturning of DOMA. We need national recognition of same sex marriage rights everywhere.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    No, because Jesus isn’t Mormon. The bias is against Mormonism—-a viscous, discriminating, fantastical religious cult. that betrays the tenets of the New Testament. Mormonism isn’t even Christian—–it denies the Trinity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.brown.7370 Sue Brown

    Mormon War? Mormon Jihad? No such thing. By using these inflammatory terms you are
    showing your own bias against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • cjfb

    This and other news out today about the change of heart in the Boy Scouts organization just leaves me feeling good. Then there is all the talk about a bi-partison Immigration Bill. Let’s take this moment to celebrate the many victories the Progressives have achieved since the election. Let’s not be over-critical that none of the changes will be perfect or far-reaching enough. We won folks!

  • Skeptical Cicada

    If the Respect for Marriage Act were enacted, California couples would STILL be denied federal recognition because the Marriott-supported Prop. 8 forbids their relationships from being treated as valid marriages. The Respect for Marriage Act says nothing about federal recognition of domestic partnerships and civil unions, to which Prop. 8 has relegated Californians.

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