Skip to comments.How Marriott’s owner put aside his Mormon beliefs to cash in on the LGBT travel market
Posted on 06/27/2014 9:33:37 AM PDT by Colofornian
Marriott International launched its #LoveTravels marketing campaign on June 2, targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender customersas well as pro-LGBT consumerswith a campaign designed to convey the companys commitment to make everyone feel comfortable being who they are.
The campaign already has its own dedicated website (two of them, actually); hotel-mounted billboards in Washington DC; and is spreading in social and LGBT media. Shot by the photographer Braden Summers, it features the recently out-of-the-closet basketball player Jason Collins and the transgender model Geena Rocero, and invites people to share their stories of travel on social media with the hashtag #LoveTravels. The campaign is timed to attract attention at LGBT Pride celebrations in New York, Washington and San Francisco.
This is just the latest pro-LGBT move by Marriotts executive director, Bill Marriott, a visible, lifelong Mormon who has professed faith in his churchs teachingsincluding traditional marriage.
The son of the chains founder, J. Willard Marriott (the man that former Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, whose given name is Willard, was named for), Bill Marriott is not a newcomer to the LGBT rights movement. In fact, he has been a quiet supporter of LGBT rights for more than 25 years. Marriott International began offering benefits for same-sex domestic partners of their American employees in the late 1990s. Since 2007, Marriott has consistently earned high ratings from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a leading American LGBT watchdog organization, and the hotel chain joined HRCs coalition of businesses opposing the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages until it was overturned in 2013 by the Supreme Court. Marriott opposed Californias Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. And a Marriott hotel in Chicago even hosted the International Mr. Leather Competition, a leather fetish pageant, in 2012.
When the media questioned Bill Marriott about how he reconciles this stance with his faith, in 2008, Bill Marriott released a statement explaining: The Bible that I love teaches me about honesty, integrity and unconditional love for all people, he said then. But beyond that, I am very careful about separating my personal faith and beliefs from how we run our business.
Be that as it may, Marriotts Mormon faith (and politics) may have factored into the chains 2011 decision to remove pay-per-view pornography from the chains in-room TV systems. Marriotts phase-out of porn following a long stint of pressure from Christian organizations was seen as connected to Romneys presidential campaign (since Romney had been an on-and-off board member and Marriott hotel porn was a thorn in Romneys side in 2008). But ultimately, the chain attributed the move to the hotels inability to compete with adult entertainment on guests devicesa claim supported by hospitality market research showing a dip in revenue for in-room pornography.
Why is Bill Marriott so careful to separate faith and business when it comes to LGBT consumers? In a nutshell, $202 billion.
Thats how big the global LGBT travel market is predicted to be this year, up from $181 billion in 2013, according to industry analysts Out Now Globalwith LGBT spending comprising 13% of all global travel spending. That 11% rise is more than double (pdf) the increase in world travel spending overall, which is expected to rise 4% to 5% this year. The number of US 18- to 34-year-olds self-identifying as LGBT has risen by more than 60% since 2007 (a 26% increase among all Americans), and married gay men spend 11% more on nonessential purchases than their heterosexual counterparts.
From a Wikipedia article: He is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). In an episode of 60 Minutes aired on April 7, 1996, Marriott was interviewed regarding his faith by Mike Wallace. The episode also included interviews with football star Steve Young and church leader Gordon B. Hinckley. In 1997 Marriott was called by the church to be an Area Authority Seventy and member of the Fifth Quorum of Seventy. This was split in 2004 and Marriott joined the newly created Sixth Quorum of the Seventy, serving until his release on October 1, 2011." J. W. "Bill" Marriott, Jr.
(This shows that Bill Marriott is NOT some "Jack Mormon")
From the article: The son of the chains founder, J. Willard Marriott (the man that former Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, whose given name is Willard, was named for), Bill Marriott is not a newcomer to the LGBT rights movement. In fact, he has been a quiet supporter of LGBT rights for more than 25 years.
Mitt Romney has served on the Marriott board for almost 14 years:
Former U.S. presidential candidate and Mormon Mitt Romney has rejoined the board of directors of Marriott International, founded and owned by the Marriott family, also members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the Mormon Church. Romney served on the board of directors for the company from 1993 until 2002, when he resigned to serve as the governor of Massachusetts. He joined the company again after an unsuccessful run for president in 2008. He served until January 2011, when he resigned to be in the race for the White House. (Dec. 6, 2012 announcement that Romney yet again rejoined the Marriott Board of Directors...Romney Rejoins Marriott)
Not just the marketing to queers, but isn’t Marriot the Number One hotel for pornography viewing?
You cannot serve two masters, you must choose between God and mammon. Mr. Marriott hass simply made his choice.
OUT LAND ISH!
The Marriot : Paradise for “Transgenders”
what a great piece of toxic promotional material for the COMPETITION
That’s because he doesn’t have to wash the sheets.
Interesting, a capitalist makes money off of perverts.
I hope he is paying his %10.?
If you need to be made “comfortable” being who you are then it is a good indication that you don’t like who you are.
If it was. It isn’t anymore. According to the article, they stopped showing them when customers stopped by them.
The article mentions how Marriott was "phasing out" porn.
But Marriott has been in the porn industry for over 20 years (pre 1990).
So Bill Marriott the Mormon leader has been in the porn industry for a long time, showing how he compartmentalizes his faith -- and how the Mormon Church has rewarded him for that by giving him leadership positions.
Marriott is a PUBLIC corporation that trades under the symbol MAR, which has a market capitalization of $18.7 billion as of yesterday. Bill Marriott does not own the company. And he stepped down as CEO in 2012.
It doesn’t do the author any favors to his credibility if he can’t get those simple facts correct.
Mormons figured out a long time ago (like when they were lending money to people to build casinos in Nevada) that people are going to sin, and there’s no reason why you can’t make money off their sin, so long as you’re actually doing the sinning yourself. Their long view is that it just gives him more money to tithe.
Some serve God, but more serve Mammon.
So is Gay-riott the new Gay-Cee Penney?
Just wait until polygamy becomes legal. Marriott will be giving out the Joseph Smith special deal, extra rooms for the extra wives...
What does phasing out porn mean?
Why not get end it?
There is no conflict between mormonISM and homosexuality, so why is this a surprise?
It means open-ended, but provides a convenient response to anybody critical of the company.
As the article shows, wasn't a morally-based decision, but a mere financial one.
And "phasing out" also likely means that the less profitable hotels-serving-as-the-porn-industry would be the first ones to stop it as a "service."
“”Bill Marriott, a visible, lifelong Mormon”
You cannot serve two masters, you must choose between God and mammon. Mr. Marriott hass simply made his choice.”
So, too, did the LDS leadership - when they “embraced diversity” and reversed their position on “Queer Nation”.
In both cases.
If he really loved the Bible and paid attention to what he was reading, he would have fled Mormonism years ago.
hahaha That’s a good one.
You know those outline family stickers, usually on mini vans?
Anyway, while driving through Arizona I saw one with the man, woman, five kids but behind the man were two women, like their stickers were put down first, then the man carefully over them so they were viable but not prominent.....interesting I though.