Mormon-founded Marriott joins push against anti-gay marriage law
One of the nation's leading gay-rights advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, has formed a coalition of major companies calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. It's no surprise, of course, that the HRC in Washington would use its considerable clout to organize big businesses to fight DOMA, the law that excludes recognition of same-sex marriages. What will be a surprise to many is that one of the first companies to join the effort was Marriott International Inc., which was founded by a devout Mormon, John Willard Marriott. His son Bill, also a devout member of the religion, is the current executive chairman and chairman of the board of the hotel company, and several other family members have major ownership interests. The official stance of the Mormon church is against gay marriage, and Mormons poured a lot of money and other resources into backing Proposition 8, the 2008 California measure that banned gay marriages in the state. But David Rodriguez, an executive vice president at Marriott and its chief human resources officer, was quoted by the HRC as saying, "We are proud of our longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal treatment of all our employees within our benefits programs.