Boycotts and Corporate Donors

They treated Mr. Karger’s boycott not as a stratagem but as a breach of decorum. Many instinctively responded (much like those who today cry “cancel culture”) by celebrating their victimhood. Mr. Manchester said it was a “free-speech, First Amendment issue.” Brian Brown — the executive director for California of the National Organization for Marriage, the leading single-issue anti-gay-marriage group, led by people with close ties to leaders in the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — boasted after the Grand Hyatt protest that Mr. Karger’s “bullying” had backfired. The “stunt they pulled against Doug Manchester ended up raising $100,000 for the amendment in 24 hours,” Mr. Brown said in a message to supporters, “and prompted at least 2,000 new marriage supporters to join our ranks.”

But Mr. Manchester did not remain sanguine for long. The next year, he dispatched an aide to an International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association conference with an offer: $25,000 in cash and $100,000 in hotel credits for dropping the boycott. No one appeared to accept the deal, and Mr. Karger kept up the pressure on the hotels, persuading business groups to yank conferences. In late 2010, Mr. Manchester was forced to sell the property.

Cancel Culture Works. We Wouldn’t Have Marriage Equality Without It.
Sasha Issenberg