Who to Boycott and Why

Posted on 17 November 2008 by admin

I’m starting to embrace the boycott, or at least feel that it’s inevitable to avoid certain companies or businesses. Here’s why.

First, people associated with these businesses, or the businesses themselves, have made a public statement by their support of Prop 8.  This is not our problem: it falls directly on the companies themselves.  A lot of effort is being made by some to try to discern the circumstances around the donation.  From my perspective, this is simply a PR disaster for the companies and it’s up to them to do damage control.  That being said, if it’s clear that a donation was made by a low level employee, I don’t think it’s fair to target them.

But for me, if I hear that a business is associated with Prop 8, then that will factor into my decision about patronizing the companies.  Why shouldn’t it?  I consider it a PR problem for that business, for them to sort out. 

Take Marriott for example, which I’ve posted about before.  Being raised Mormon, I was already keenly aware of the association to the church and have been creeped out by it.  I recently stayed at the BYU location and felt like I was camping out inside a Mormon church.   Did the company support Prop 8?  No.  Did the president, who is Mormon?  No.  Did he denounce the involvement of his church? No! Does money he makes from his corporation get used as a massive tithing to the Mormon church?  YES!!  Are some owners and developers of Marriott hotel properties contributors to Prop 8?  YES!!  Huntington Hotel Group is one with 15 mostly Marriott branded hotels, and Douglas Manchester is another (developer of a very high profile Marriott property).  Do they have Book of Mormons in all the rooms? YES!!

I don’t feel that I need to sort out any more details.  There is enough Mormon and Prop 8 association for me to put Marriott on my “companies to avoid” list.  Actually, just placing a Book of Mormon in the room is enough for me to avoid this company now.

Another high profile example that is coming up is the $100 contribution by the daughter of the owner of El Coyote restaurant.  Do I think it’s fair to boycott them?  I don’t think it matters.  I know about the donation and Mormon ownership now, so why would I go there?  Again, it’s their PR problem now.  Not mine.

I think that the litmus test for me for these different companies is this: (1) did they apologize for the mistake, (2) did they make a similar contribution to overturn 8, (3) did they denounce prop 8, and if applicable, the Mormon church involvement (if they are a member).

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Targeting Mormons Unfair?

Equality California estimates that Mormons donated as much as $20 million to Prop. 8, while the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal group, gave $1.25 million to the effort and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, $200,000.



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