August 27, 2008, - 11:44 am
By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re like me, you love Bolthouse Farms fruit and vegetable drinks (though rarely have them because they’re veeeery high in calories).
But gays in California don’t.
They’re boycotting the company because the man who founded and sold the company three years ago–William Bolthouse–is a huge backer of Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative to ban gay marriage in California. He donated $100,000 to Proposition 8 backers.
So, now a fruity drink is no longer the “fruity” drink.
Oh, and by the way, did you know that opposing gay marriage is now a “hate crime”?
Californians Against Hate is the gay rights group, which is leading the boycot of donors of $5,000 or more to the anti-gay marriage campaign.
Bolthouse Farms can handle it. It’s a huge company with sales across the continent, and its bottom line hasn’t been affected. It’s the smaller businesses that are being hurt by this gay extremism and intolerance.
Two of the businesses which donated–A-1 Storage, a self-storage company, and Manchester Grand Hyatt (both of which are in San Diego)–are also targets of the gay boycott. I urge you to patronize these businesses if you live in the San Diego area or are visiting (especially for the hotel), since the misnomered Californians Against Hate has already hurt them:
Same-sex marriage was legalized in California in June after the State Supreme Court ruled a ban was unconstitutional. That set the stage for a ballot proposal to outlaw gay marriage. Both sides see California as the crucial battleground state that could determine how far same-sex marriage rights can be extended. Fund raising has poured in from across the country. . . .
San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt is now the target of a boycott that was kicked off after its owner, Doug Manchester, donated $125,000 to the campaign to support Proposition 8. With the help of a local union, gay-rights activists managed to convince two professional associations to cut back on some events they planned to host at the hotel. A hotel official said both groups are keeping the rooms they have blocked off for their events but moved some meetings and other events to other venues.
In an email responding to a reporter’s question, Mr. Manchester said, “We have received support from those that are in favor of Prop 8 which has made up for some of what is being lost as a result of the boycott. Nonetheless, we are saddened by all the divisive nature of the movement.” . . .
Jennifer Kerns, a spokeswoman for ProtectMarriage.com, the largest fund-raiser for the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, says she expects it will become more difficult to entice corporations to contribute to her cause.
“The moment [Mr. Manchester] wrote the check, he found himself to be the target of numerous boycotts and protests,” she said. “Our side has a significant challenge in that.” Ms. Kerns noted that the greater chunk of her group’s funding will likely come from individuals and religious groups, such as the national Catholic organization Knights of Columbus, which recently contributed $1 million to the campaign.
Not surprisingly, gay rights groups aren’t boycotting businesses that are contributing to the campaign to keep gay marriage legalized in California.
San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility by revenue, donated $250,000 to defeat Proposition 8. A spokeswoman said the company received some complaints from its 20,000 employees and six million customers, and it was able to handle the protests internally.
Sadly, Californians against gay marriage probably can’t boycott this company because, as with most utilities, it likely has a monopoly on the energy it provides. And you don’t want to be without gas and electricity.