Marriott Hotels Offer Discounts to the LGBT Community
Gay and lesbian couples looking for a getaway this summer may want to consider booking a room at a Marriott Hotel. Although the chain has Mormon roots, some Marriott facilities around the country are offering discounts to the LGBT community, the Blaze reported.
Gays can take advantage of the hotel’s "OUT" packages, which offer visitors a number of bonuses and extravagant amenities. The Renaissance Washington Marriott, located in the nation’s capital, provides its gay guests with chocolate-covered strawberries, sparkling wine, complimentary Internet access and other benefits.
The cost of the package (which is for a room with a king-size bed or two doubles in July) is about $179. Packages for families are also available and cost the same.
Besides the Washington D.C. Marriott, gays can purchase "OUT" packages for hotels in Seattle and Philadelphia. Those packages are slightly different as they offer breakfast instead of chocolate-covered strawberries and wine.
The article points out that the Marriott is trying to "attract a gay customer base, while distinguishing the company as particularly diverse and accepting." In addition, the Marriott’s website has a section called "Gay Weddings & Events," which aims to help gay couples plan their ceremonies.
"This year’s Lavender Law was the biggest in history with over 1500 lawyers students in attendance, and we were thrilled to be back at the Hollywood Renaissance. I regularly send notes to my national sales rep praising Marriott as being the most LGBT-friendly brand with which I work," one testimonial states.
"DC Capital Pride was very fortunate to have the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel as the host and a Presenting Sponsor for our 2011 celebrations. Our partnership with the Renaissance elevated the caliber of this year’s celebrations and the experiences of our attendees. Everyone felt respected and valued, and we hope to work with Marriott Hotels again," another testimonial says.
When the ultra conservative and Christian group Free Republic reported the story a number of its commenters were upset at Marriot’s LGBT-friendly deal.
"I’m into beastiality. Do I get a discount too?????" one commenter wrote. Another said, "If only I could afford Marriott just to put them on my banned list."
"I am staying OUT of Marriott hotels. Pretty much rather sleep in my truck than just about any hotel nowaday. Turn on your black light and get a scare you can’t top at the best haunted house in town," someone else wrote.
On the other hand, several LGBT activists attempted a boycott of Marriott’s because of the founder’s well-known ties to the Mormon Church in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 in California banning same-sex marriage there.
The Marriott Corporation in return issued a statement that it did not, in fact, contribute to Prop-8 groups. The proposed boycott did not appear to impact Marriott’s business. Several gay groups, such as the Imperial Court of New York and the Human Rights Campaign, have used Marriotts for their events.