AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Protest Clinton's Speech

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Protest Clinton's Speech

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Hundreds of gay marriage supporters protested former President Bill Clinton's appearance downtown Sunday.

That's because Mr. Clinton, who opposed Proposition 8, made a speech at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The hotel's owner, Doug Manchester, donated funds to the Yes on 8 Campaign.

Despite deafening chants from same-sex marriage supporters, former President Clinton arrived as scheduled to deliver a speech at the Manchester Hyatt.

"It's a real slap in the face by Bill Clinton," said one protester.

A slap in the face because Clinton - who campaigned against Proposition 8 - refused to cancel his speaking engagement with 2500 members of the International Franchise Association, after learning Doug Manchester, the owner of the San Diego hotel, donated $125,000 to the Yes on 8 campaign.

The hotel has been a target of a boycott for months.

Labor union leaders joined the protest accusing Manchester of demanding staff carry a heavier work load than other hotels.

Hyatt Marketing Director, Kelly Commerford says the claims are baseless and adds Manchester's decision to donate to Yes on 8 was a personal one.

"It has nothing to do with the business. I am an openly gay director of marketing, and I support diversity," Commerford said. "Mr. Manchester hired me at this hotel. He is not homophobic. He certainly is supportive of equal rights for the GLBT community."

Clinton officials say he wanted to honor his commitment to the IFA - the sole group to invite him to speak in San Diego.

While it's unclear if he addressed the protest before giving his speech, those outside say the decision speaks directly to his character.

"I guess that's who he's become is dollar Bill Clinton, because he seems to be happier to take 100,000 bucks or whatever he's getting here than to stand up for his legacy and to stand up for people," said Courage Campaign Chair Rick Jacobs.

Manchester has publicly apologized for upsetting any of his staff and any of the public.

Meanwhile, after his speech Sunday, Clinton didn't address questions from the media.

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