Australian Marriage Equality begins working relationship with Hyatt

Australian Marriage Equality begins working relationship with Hyatt

CANBERRA’S Park Hyatt Hotel has entered into a constructive and supportive working relationship with lobby group Australian Marriage Equality (AME) in an effort to demonstrate the values the company shares with LGBTI rights.

In an announcement earlier this afternoon made by Hyatt Canberra general manager Mikael Svensson and AME acting director Ivan Hinton, both men (pictured above) welcomed the beginning of the hotel chain’s engagement with the LGBTI community.

The Canberra Park Hyatt has been at the forefront of criticism and social media campaigns against the venue due to their decision to continue hosting the Australian Christian Lobby’s (ACL) National Conference, which starts tomorrow.

Although allowing the conference to go ahead despite ACL’s stance on issues of LGBTI rights — specifically marriage equality — the company has reached out to AME in an effort to demonstrate its support of equality and inclusion.

“It’s the beginning of a dialogue with the LGBTI community in Australia and AME,”a Hyatt spokesperson told the Star Observer.

“In the US, we cooperate with a lot of different organisations and are a staunch supporter of marriage equality.

“It’s the position of the company globally and reaching out with AME has put us in a position where we can think about a bigger relationship with the LGBTI community in Australia.”

The hotel chain is hoping to build upon the attention directed towards it this week as an opportunity to start something “sustainable” with the community in Australia.

“We don’t want to be reactionary to what’s happened this week and we are after a more long term approach and engagement with the LGBTI community,” the spokesperson said.

In the US, Hyatt has had an internal support program for its LGBTI employees – HyPride – and has been continually ranked as one of the best LGBTI-friendly workplaces in the country.

Hyatt’s new relationship with AME has been seen as a means to help achieve something similar in Australia.

“This is absolutely a stepping stone to establishing a chapter of HyPride in Australia. It’s a process that has quite a lot of steps to it but this is a great way to start it here,” the spokesperson said.

HyPride Australia hopes to be launched in time for the festival season around the country, especially the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

In addition, while not officially condoning it, the hotel has made no moves to stop a group of LGBTI people and allies from Canberra to “gaycrash” the ACL dinner that’s being held at the Hyatt tonight.

Reflecting on the social media campaign directed towards the Hyatt this week, Hinton said that the passion behind it was understandable.

“I think the strength of responses to the ACL is a reflection of the injury that the LGBTI community carries with them, that has been caused by certain religious voices over time,” the AME acting director told the Star Observer.

“We are familiar with prejudice, we are familiar with discrimination. There is a degree of anxiety that we carry.

“It was not long ago where just being gay was against the law and we carry that burden with us. When we seem to be coming so far in terms of rights it’s understandable that there’s frustration when we see the ACL appears at such a prestigious location like the Hyatt.”

Hinton added that it was the campaign on Facebook that resulted in a relationship being achieved between AME and Hyatt.

“It’s given them a chance to express their very firm historical values of support for LGBTI rights and marriage equality,” he said.

“It’s important to note that the Hyatt actually contacted me and AME first and said that this is a situation where we need your help.”

Another major sticking point for the community with regards to the ACL conference has been the confirmed attendance of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who will use his key note address to affirm his support for marriage equality.

“For Bill Shorten to address the ACL at their National Conference as the key note speaker and as a strong supporter of marriage equality is history in the making. I’m actually looking forward to hearing what he has to say,” Hinton said.

“He will have the opportunity to show support for a new approach, a Christian approach, to the issue. It’s an issue that we know 72 per cent of Australians support but we also know that overwhelming majority of Catholics support marriage equality.”

(Image credit: David Alexander; Star Observer)

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21 responses to “Australian Marriage Equality begins working relationship with Hyatt”

  1. To AME: Hyatt Hotel does not hold any value, as any business decisions are driven by profit. They did not have any problem to take the money from the Christians, now they want to take the money from us, launching HyPride just before Sydney Mardi Grass that is just a joke. How can you be so naïve?

  2. Agree. Its called crisis management. Too late though. The brand name is damaged. You can’t have a bet on every horse in a two horse race expect to come out ahead

  3. Oh please, it’s called ‘damage control’. Crumbs from the table, scrabbling to restore their shredded reputation and hoping to claw back the huge amounts of business they are going to lose.

    If Hyatt were genuine about their own stated values supporting the community, they would not have had anything to do with this hate group in the first place.

    But weren’t they considerate offering their LGBT staff who may have felt uncomfortable cooking for, waiting on and cleaning up after the venomous people actively trying to harm them, the time off? At no pay.

    I can’t believe ME are actually so bloody naive to lap up the leftovers and call it a ‘positive’.

  4. The Klu Klux Klan is also a legitimate organization but apparently gay hate by Bill Shorten and the Hyatt is legitimate, just not race hate, yet. Bill goes to war with a binding vote and no debate but does not do this on equality, as for some strange reason he does not want a united party when the equality vote comes up. Sounds a bit like the Hyatt playing everyone with shitcan excuses to legitimise gay hate groups. Bill Shirten says he supports equality, but sabotages the vote for it. He looks progressive, but acts like Howard.

  5. They are a business and buisness’s need to make money. The bottom line for me is – they listened, they are trying to communicate, and they are trying to be supportive. They could have put their heads in the sand and done nothing. I’d make a booking with them. Well done Hyatt. Thank you.

  6. Hopefully someone will do the proper, fair and correct thing, and shit in the punch bowl at the ACL meeting.

    I think the Hyatt screwed up big time, and got caught out and stuck between a rock and a hard place, especially as it involves that abject failure of an opposition leader Shorten. Hopefully the Hyatt will come good with their promise of shit listing the ACL from future bookings.

  7. Great to see the Australian Christian Lobby Annual conference raising money for marriage equality for the GLBTI community!