After taking part in Pride Month, Marriott will now host the Tampa conference for the anti-LGBTQ group | Tampa Bay News | Tampa
Despite Marriott’s marketing to the LGBTQ+ community and active participation in Pride Month, its Tampa Water Street hotel will turn the page in July and host an event organized by a known anti-LGBTQ+ group..
Media Matters for America points out that from July 14-17, the hotel will host a three-day national summit for “Merry Warriors” organized by the Melbourne-based nonprofit Moms For Liberty.
Claiming to champion “parental rights” in schools, Moms for Liberty has campaigned against books and programs that include topics such as gender and sexuality, including literature on LGBTQ+ rights and history. The group has also mobilized against COVID-19 restrictions, as well as books on discrimination and “critical race theory”.
“It’s just not reasonable for Marriott to pretend to be with the LGBTQ community for a month and then the next week to take money from people who are essentially calling for our destruction,” Ari Drennen said. , director of the LGBTQ program at Media Matters, to Creative. Take a stroll in Tampa Bay. “[Marriott] can’t have their cake and eat it too when it comes to supporting LGBTQ people and benefiting from the money that LGBTQ travelers fund. »
“It’s just not reasonable for Marriott to pretend to be with the LGBTQ community for a month and then the next week to take money from people who are essentially calling for our destruction.”
But campaign finance data from 2018 to present shows that Marriott International Inc. has also donated at least $180,000 to Florida-based political action committees (PACs) and candidates. Marriott International Inc. donated just $5,000 to leftist PACs during the same period.
It’s no secret that conservative lawmakers in Florida have harnessed those funds to help pass laws like the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which is actually about to speak at the Moms For Liberty Summit in Tampa.
Despite its political activity, Marriott scored 100% in the 2022 Annual Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ advocacy and lobbying group, for the ninth consecutive year.
CL has contacted HRC to see if their hosting of Moms For Liberty might affect this score – we’ll update this post if we hear back.
Besides DeSantis, many other speakers at the Tampa Marriott Moms For Liberty Summit expressed support for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and ideology.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the author of a manifesto that denies the existence of trans people, is on the bill with former Trump administration education secretary Betsy DeVos, who in 2017 revoked Obama-era protections for transgender students.
Passes to the convention itself are $199, not including rooms at the Tampa Marriott Water Street, which are already sold out.
According to the group’s Twitter page (@Moms4Liberty), the organization has grown to 200 chapters in 37 states, with more than 95,000 members as of January 2021.
Since its inception, the organization has often targeted young trans people. In a June 13 tweetthe organization called the growing number of young transgender people a “transgender contagion” and encouraged parents to “combat it”.
In March, the group’s Twitter page also cited a post claiming that The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, “actively prepares children for a trans identity. “.
Spokespersons for Strategic Property Partners (SPP), which owns the hotel, told CL that SPP “does not manage operations inside hotels”, and referred to Marriott, which has not yet responded to CL’s request for comments. SPP partner Jeff Vinik also owns the Tampa Bay Lightning, which hosts its own Pride Nights.
“It’s not just hypocritical. It undermines the impact of any sort of Pride campaign that [Marriott] could do,” Drennen said. “How are gay people supposed to trust that? That Marriott is a safe place for us to spend our money when they accommodate the types of groups that call [Florida] School board members are ‘paedophiles’ because they think trans people should be allowed to use our gender washrooms.”