[eDebate] FWD:NCA Addresses Debate over San Diego property and gay rights

Darren Elliott delliott
Thu Sep 18 15:14:41 CDT 2008

I received this from NCA concerning the convention in November and
wanted to pass it along for those who had not seen it.  This is not a
CEDA endorsement of the email below, the convention site itself, or
NCA's decisions.  This is merely for your informational purposes.  If
you have concerns I encourage you to notify the NCA Executive Committee.



Darren Elliott,

The NCA Executive Committee acknowledges and understands the concerns
some NCA members have expressed about the site of the 2008 NCA
convention in San Diego and the ballot issue before California voters
banning same-sex marriage. We appreciate and respect the varied views
that have been expressed and the passions surrounding these
perspectives. NCA hopes that these concerns and passions can fuel a
productive and professional debate and discussion about how associations
coexist in our society with other not-for-profit organizations involved
in advocacy issues. 


Those of us occupying leadership positions in NCA remain committed to
the principles of debate, discussion and dialogue as expressed in our
May 2008 CRTNET posting. These principles have been expressed in many
NCA policies (available at


It is in that spirit that we are honoring our agreement with the
Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel in San Diego. In that same spirit, we have
responded to member needs by 


highlighting programs on marriage, partnerships and commitments in the
convention program schedule 
offering the expertise of scholars and researchers on marriage and close
relationships within our discipline to the San Diego community 
inviting Mr. Manchester, whose donation to a California ballot
initiative to ban gay marriage sparked a national debate, to attend the
spotlight panels 
asking communication departments in California to host community forums
on issues of defining marriage as an opportunity for voters to share and
express a diversity of opinions. 

While Mr. Manchester is one of several owners of the property, he does
not speak for Hyatt Hotels, which is fully responsible for the
day-to-day operations of the site of the NCA meeting. Hyatt?s commitment
to the GLBT community has resulted in 

awards from the 

Human Rights Campaign (the largest GLBT advocacy group in America) 
Advocate Magazine 

Advocate Magazine and DiversityInc.com named Hyatt one of the most
Gay-friendly employers in the U.S. 

Hyatt is also a supporter of the 

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLADD) 
International Gay Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). 

Unfortunately, two unrelated issues associated with the Manchester Hyatt
have been conflated and there is much false information and speculation
being circulated. The issue that has arisen more recently concerns hotel
workers. Unite Here! has made a number of claims about the hotel?s work
policies. Hyatt refutes charges made about the treatment of hotel
workers that has aroused the concern of some members of NCA. They point
out that Manchester Grand Hyatt employees are not striking nor
participating in picket lines.


Also, we think it is important for our members to understand that all of
our meeting rooms are scheduled in the Hyatt. There are no rooms outside
the Hyatt to which we could move meetings and panels.


The volume of communication (e.g. CRTNET posts, email, etc.) thus far
suggests that our members hold a wide variety of views on both of these
issues. Indeed, the Executive Committee members collectively and
individually understand the difficulty of this issue especially given
the diversity represented on our board in regard to sexual identity. Y 
However, We appreciate the passion and candor that has marked the
discussion thus far and we acknowledge the right of each member to make
her or his own decision about attending the convention, hotel selection
at the convention and program attendance. Regardless of which dof open dialogue, discussion and debate that are central to our


The Executive Committee and the Executive Director 



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