***Edited to add, after the fact, the post below was written in response to several TNNA Members actions and statements on Ravelry.com. It wasn't clear at the moment of writing whether these statements were or were not at all supported by actual TNNA officials, and in no way is the post below meant to insult or hinder the work that TNNA does. It is intended to ask participants in their winter meeting to think twice about which hotel they book.***
Thursday night and I really need to be in a better place on knit-work to meet an approaching deadline. Yes yes,Ted's right, my birthday (the big 3-0) just passed and we're past the annual birthday post, which I hope to do next week while at Knitting Camp in Wisconsin, but I felt like this post was timely enough that I wanted interested parties to be in the know.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you know that California has ruled to support same-sex marriage (totally awesome!). More recently, it's come to the surface that there are a few California-based services and establishments that are giving dollars towards overturning the ruling (or however these legal things work) to re-establish that marriage should be between a man and a woman (totally absurd in my mind). For interested parties, the name of the hotels are Manchester Hotels, and there's a site out there detailing ways that you can show these businesses that we mean business by boycotting them and spending your dollars on gay-friendly establishments (visit www.boycottmanchesterhotels.com when you have yourself a pretty-minute). These hotels in particular have given more than $125K towards the cause - not chump change.
Meanwhile, TNNA (The National Needleworker's Association) will meet in San Diego in the winter. TNNA is a great event - true, I've never been, but I think it's a great source for designers and editors alike to make all kinds of contacts that become the foundation for a significant portion of their work for the year and season. One of the host hotels for the event is a Manchester Hotel.
For designers, editors, yarn store owners and others attending the event, I urge you, please look deep inside yourself and choose an alternative to this hotel. Gay marriage in California and Massachusetts is a huge deal for us gays - both are large states and in a lot of ways, when other states see folks making the move, they similarly do - it makes a BIG deal to those of us who want to marry, and can't, because of some crazy laws that are based on the church's opinion. I urge you to "vote with your pocketbook" and choose an establishment that doesn't support hate-mongering and limiting rights.
Let me be clear, I am not in any way suggesting you not go to or not support TNNA. I absolutely understand where they are and where they're coming from. You organize an event, you book a hotel block and when faced with not meeting the block, let's just say it's like when you go to buy a bag of M&Ms and decide to eat 2 and return the bag. Hotel blocks don't work that way - you say you'll buy or get reservations: you get the rooms either way (AND, sometimes, hotels can rebook the rooms if they're vacant). Further, it's not their fault - hotels are booked years out, and let me tell you, as a meeting planner, you have no time to research political values and what hotels choose to support with their money, or hell, knowing that when you (or more likely, your predecessor) sign a contract for five years down the line.
I want to see TNNA succeed and continue to be a resource for the field - but please, when booking your hotel, choose freedom, choose marriage, choose equality, and make a choice that you can feel good about when gay guys - like me - come into your store to spend their gay dollars on hundreds of dollars of sock yarn.
PS If you're not supportive of gay marriage or want to make some crazy comment about how we're all going to burn in hell for being butt-buddies, I don't want to hear it and my comments are not a forum for you and your crazy values. I normally leave all comments up, but I have no problem signing in, hitting the delete button, and making every effort I can to block comments from you in the future. Hell, maybe I'll make a list and sign you up for crap from all my favorite gay establishments - anyway - bottom line, if you can't be nice, go away.
PS2 For TNNA members who've started this "dialogue", I want to love you. But, locking the thread on ravelry in the TNNA forums to stop the conversation was in poor taste. Dialogue is essential to creating an environment where all people feel their perspectives and needs are being addressed. From years of experience working with dialogue-based organizations, when you snuff the dialogue, divisive issues build up in the community and that can be very hurtful to social networks. Please, re-open the thread for discussion.