Group defends hotel use
CHARLESTON – The Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA), an LGBT education group, is defending its use of the Marriott Hotel for its events after receiving criticism because of the hotel chain s close link to the Mormon Church and California s Proposition 8.

The group defended its choice to use the local Marriott and said they do not support businesses that invest in anti-LGBT legislation.

“AFFA originally chose to do business with Marriott because of their policy in offering domestic partner benefits, as well as their commitment to nondiscrimination in employment based on sexual orientation,” the group wrote in a notice on its website. “And of course they have had a consistently high rating in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index with a rating of 100 percent these past two years.”

The group also reposted a letter written by Bill Marriott, the chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International.

“As many of you may know I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Marriott wrote. “Some might conclude given my family’s membership in the Mormon Church that our company supported the recent ballot initiative to ban same sex marriage in California. This is simply untrue. Marriott International is a public company headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and is not controlled by any one individual or family. Neither I, nor the company, contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8.”

He added, “I am personally motivated to speak now because Marriott was built on the basic principles of respect and inclusion. My father, who founded this company along with my mother, told everyone who would listen: Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your customers, who will come back again and again.

“For more than 80 years, our company has grown and changed, but that basic principle still holds up. We embrace all people as our customers, associates, owners and franchisees regardless of race, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.”

Pride financials update
In the last issue, Q-Notes reported on the 2008 financial report of SC Pride. New numbers have been released.

The group’s total income was $74,900. Their total expenses were $82,400, including $56,000 for the 2008 SC Pride Festival and Parade, $1,200 for Rainbow Radio and $11,800 for the Harriet Hancock Community Center.

Total assets for 2008 were $77,200. Assets carried into 2009 total to $69,700.

Pride to march in St. Patty’s Parade
COLUMBIA The SC Pride Movement will have a contingent in this year s St. Patrick s Day Parade on March 14. The group will march and have a float filled with rainbow flags.

You can join the group at the line up at Dreher High School. The parade route will take participants down Devine St. and into Five Points.

SC Pride is encouraging their supporters to wear green and bring their rainbow flags.

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