Jennifer Roback Morse

I propose a toast. Let me tell you why, and to whom. Here in San Diego, gay rights activists are organizing a boycott against the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, an elegant downtown hotel with magnificent views of the San Diego Bay, Coronado Island, and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Why? Because its owner, Douglas Manchester, has the audacity to support the radical notion that marriage is between a man and a woman. On a local talk radio show, gay activists describe him and anyone else with these views as hateful.

Douglas Manchester is the Chairman of the Manchester Financial Group, which acquires, develops, and manages high profile properties throughout the United States. "Papa Doug" Manchester and his wife Betsy are devoted supporters of causes that address the health and well-being of children, especially here in San Diego. Besides supporting the University of San Diego, San Diego State University, and Cathedral Catholic High School, the Manchesters are significant contributors to the County’s Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, Polinsky Children’s Center, and San Diego Diocesan Ministries. Their generosity has extended to the YMCA, Southern California Boys & Girls Clubs, Scripps Memorial Hospital, and The Burnham Institute.

So why are the gay rights radicals in an uproar? Douglas Manchester gave money to get the California Marriage Amendment on the ballot. This dastardly amendment states: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” According to boycott organizer Fred Karcher, boycotting Manchester is justified because, “This is someone who is giving an exorbitant amount of money to write discrimination into the constitution for the very first time.”

The big meanie. What was he thinking?

Maybe he was thinking that four judges in San Francisco have no right to redefine marriage for the entire state of California. Maybe he is concerned that grade school children will be taught about homosexuality. Maybe he has the extremist idea that this is a topic for parents to teach their kids, in accordance with their own values, and their child’s maturity level.

Maybe he thinks marriage has something to do with children. Not every married couple has children; that’s true. But every child has parents. And every child has a legitimate interest in having a relationship with his own mother and father, an interest no child can possibly defend on his own. Adult society must protect children’s entitlement to bonding and connection with their parents. Marriage is the social institution that does this job.

Jennifer Roback Morse

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., is the author of Smart Sex: Finding Life-long Love In A Hook-up World. She blogs at

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