The furor springs from the fact that the owner of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, Doug Manchester, made a $125,000 contribution to an initiative to ban gay marriage in California. Many (mostly left-leaning) political professors have demanded a boycott of the hotel as a result.
||The AALS is boycotting the Manchester Grand Hyatt over its owner's opposition to gay marriage.|
Well, the AALS has buckled to them. The Association had rented two hotels, the Grand Hyatt and the Marriott, for an event in January. They announced earlier this week, however, that they are moving all meetings to the Marriott, even though they won’t be breaking the contract they already signed with the Grand Hyatt as doing so would be too costly.
In other words, the law professors are making their organization take a political stand. Commentators have been swift to respond, with Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee opining, “So remember — if you want lawprofs' business, don't utter a politically incorrect opinion. But don't engage in similar boycotts of "progressive" speakers. That would be McCarthyism.”
Incidentally, it appears that the Marriott in question was also built by the now-ostracized Doug Manchester, but that he has sold his stake in that hotel, thus making the Marriott acceptable to the law professors.
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Note that the Marriott chain was started by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is also making legal efforts to restore traditional marriage in California. No word on whether the Section on Legal Writing Research and Reasoning, which is one of the groups calling for the boycott, has noticed this yet.