To the Los Angeles Times, it is surprising that Marriott International would join the Human Rights Campaign’s coalition of companies calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
After all, writer David Colker reasoned, the giant hotel chain was founded by a devout Mormon, John Willard Marriott, and is still run by his son, Bill Marriott, also a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
That Utah-based church pushed its members to support California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as only between a husband and wife.
What the story didn’t note, however, is that neither Bill Marriott nor his company contributed to Prop 8. When gay-rights activists threatened to boycott the Mormon-owned hotels in the aftermath of the measure’s passage, Marriott made his position clear.
Marriott International has had domestic-partner benefits since the late 1980s and has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for two years in a row, Marriott said in a Nov. 13, 2008, release quoted in The Salt Lake Tribune.