Amy Ridenour – circa 2006

On Thursday, Amy Ridenour’s National Center for Public Policy Research decided to criticize Marriott International Corporation for their support of LGBT equality in Indiana. Ridenour’s “think tank” has been closely associated with Jack Abramoff and his clients. In addition they have tried to shape public policy in favor of the tobacco industry as well as climate science denying polluters.

According to the “news” blog of the American Family Association, an anti-gay hate group: “Marriot CEO called out for hypocrisy over Indiana law.”

At the annual meeting of Marriott shareholders earlier this month, the National Center for Public Policy Research called out [Marriott’s CEO] Sorenson and pointed out his hypocrisy.

Justin Danhof, general counsel for the think tank, asked the CEO if Marriott will halt all business operations in countries where homosexuality is illegal.

Danhof explains the confrontation: “They’re doing business in these countries; they’re making a profit in these countries. Presumably, if they’re following the law, they’re paying taxes to these governments so thereby tacitly funding the governments – indirectly obviously through their taxes – that persecute homosexuals. Yet we’re going to go after a law in Indian that’s based on a federal law that has led to no discrimination against anyone ever.”

The question is idiotic. The explanation is more idiotic.

The last time I checked, Marriott International, a Delaware corporation, was headquartered in Bethesda, MD. It is not headquartered in Riyadh. Nor is it headquartered in Nairobi. It is headquartered in Bethesda. All of Marriott’s senior management appear to be American citizens. Arne M. Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer as well as J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman of the Board  are not interested in public policy in either Saudi Arabia or Kenya. Both gentlemen are citizens and residents of the United States of America. Their business interests coincide with the economics associated with visitors from other countries who will hopefully stay at Marriott facilities. Is this really that complicated a concept?

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.