The Facts About Marriott and California's Proposition 8

November 11, 2008
As many of you may know I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   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, Maryland, and is not controlled by any one individual or family.  Neither I, nor the company, contributed to the campaign to pass Proposition 8.   
The Bible that I love teaches me about honesty, integrity and unconditional love for all people.  But beyond that, I am very careful about separating my personal faith and beliefs from how we run our business. 
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.
Our principle is backed up with a formal diversity program, which we established more than 20 years ago.  Our Board of Directors has also focused on this priority and helped us be a leader and a better company.  We were among the first in our industry to offer domestic partner benefits, and we've earned a perfect 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index for two years in a row.  Many of our hotels have hosted LGBT community functions and events for years.
I am very proud of all of our associates at Marriott. And I want all our associates and guests, whom we welcome into our hotels, to know that we embrace your talents and thank you for your many contributions and your business.
I'm Bill Marriott, and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

The facts About Marriott and Californias Proposition 8

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I cannot tell you how relieved I am to read this statement, and want to thank Mr. Marriott for his inclusiveness and willingness to embrace societal change. I'm not gay, but take human rights very, very seriously. I now have no qualms about staying at your hotels.
I also very much appreciate your environmental policies and initiatives. Your statement "We are all guests on this planet." is wonderful, and so true. I want to support green and inclusive companies, and that list includes Marriott.

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.

I am so glad to see this. IMO, the Marriott properties are the best run in the mid-price category. I was very unhappy when I heard that it was Mormon owned, but impressed by the performance and wondered if it was motivated by the beliefs. I have my answer here and will feel much better about staying at the Marriott properties when I have the opportunity.

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indeed difficult to distinguish between faith and give the business

same-sex marriage in my country is not allowed. And it's still very taboo in my country. So if anyone want same-sex marriage. They have to get married and move in another country

I do wish there were more people like you around on the interwebs. Not many people are careful with their words, including myself sometimes. I have written things I would love to take back, goo work, keep it up

I don't think I've read anything like this before. So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject.

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Took me time to read all the comments,I do wish there were more people like you

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My empathy goes to everyone on this issue. I don't believe any cause gets forwarded by hate and distance. We all have competing issues in our lives to reconcile, and we do our best. I appreciated the difficulty and effort that went into Mr. Marriott's statement. I'm sure it wasn't easy to draft.

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I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

I am booked again this year at the Sydney Marriott for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. As Mr. Mariott knows, the strategic location of his hotel (and the good rooms/service) means that it is filled every year for a week or two with gay and lesbian visitors. I was about to cancel my reservations and move to another hotel when I read Mr. Marriott's comments. I am satisfied and will keep my booking. Thank you. And, Mr. Marriott, next time please show your support next time by donating to our cause, not just by remaining silent.

If one is a member of a church that believes one thing and uses its members tithes to support a cause which is anti-that-church in teachings, why would members continue to claim loyalty of said church??
Instead of insisting that one is pro-gay cause, why not help oust your church leaders for speaking on your behalf when it is not your own wish?
If I were a member of the CLDS, and Bill Marriott, I would speaking out against my church... NOT prop 8! Which angers YOU more, Bill Marriott?

This statement reflects a very questionable strategy. As these comments indicate, they're going to boycott anyway. The only way Mariott has to offset the loss is to make friends with the other side, give us a reason seek out a Mariott hotel as an expression of gratitude and as a means to undermine the boycott.

I have a gay brother and a gay sister, each of whom has been with their partner for over 30 years -- to deny them the rights of other citizens is obscene.
So I WILL NOT be staying at any of the Marriott chain anytime soon. If Mormons insist on interfering in my family's life, I feel free to give their businesses a wide birth.
Clean up your own house, if you expect me to stay at your hotels.

Dear Former Customer. In one spoiled, and self centered harangue, you've: a)promoted class envy; b)attacked a persons religion; c)confused tolerance, with acceptance; d)discounted the hard work and sacrifices which the Marriotts have endured to create what they have.
Further, GLBT has made incredible if questionable advances in only 25 yrs! You want what you want, and you want it now.
I completely allow for your happiness; however, I am astounded that those against prop. 8 want to devalue my vote as a citizen of California. The old saw your freedom ends where I begin comes to mind.
I refuse to have you try to legislate or promote control of my thoughts and what is sacred to me. End.

As someone who worked for Marriott for several years, I can say Marriott has always been accepting and supportive of those in the gay community. There were several gay associates working in all areas of the hotel and most brought their partners to hotel employee functions. I don't know Mr. Marriott's personal views but as an employer, he has been good to the gay community and has offered benefits to gay couples for years.