Hilton Steps In After Sheraton Refuses To Host Gay Wedding

Filed Under: Hotels

Well played, Hilton…

Sheraton “Not Specialized” To Carry Out Gay Wedding

Josh Rimer, who is a vlogger and Mr. Gay Canada 2019, shared his experience with trying to lock in a wedding venue in a recent vlog.

He and his fiancé, Heath, who live in Vancouver, planned on having their wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and had reached out to the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center, to host it.

I think it’s worth pointing out that Puerto Vallarta as a destination is extremely gay friendly, so you’d think this wouldn’t come as a surprising request. It would be like reaching out to a hotel in Palm Springs or Mykonos for a gay wedding.

The first thing worth noting is that the hotel seems to have been incredibly unprofessional all along with wedding planning, and that’s before it was even revealed that this was a gay wedding.

What’s much worse is that in an email conversation with the hotel, the couple was told that the hotel is not “specialized to carry out an equal wedding.” Here’s the email from the hotel to the couple:

“I am infinitely grateful that you have thought of Sheraton for your big day, however, our hotel and our staff is not specialized to carry out an equal wedding and we would not like to take your wedding as a trial and error, and our service could be poor compared to what characterized Sheraton, because we know and we are aware that is your special day for you and your fiance, and do not want that by our non-specialed service some conflict can be generated on your big day, my apologies.”

As someone who has gotten (gay) married, and has tried to explain to people that a gay wedding is the same as a straight wedding, this Key & Peele skit certainly comes to mind:

A Marriott spokesperson stated the following in response to this situation:

“Marriott has long been committed to providing an environment where all are welcome including our LGBTQ guests and their loved ones.”

Hilton Puerto Vallarta Offers To Host Wedding For Free

The Hilton Puerto Vallarta has capitalized on this opportunity, and has offered to host the wedding for free. Via an Instagram post:

Hi @JoshRimer, we’re looking for you! We’ve heard you want to get married at Puerto Vallarta and we want to offer you the #HiltonExperience! 🤗

We want to celebrate with you this special day, so we’ll gladly host your wedding ceremony and feast for FREE for you and your 45 guests at Hilton Puerto Vallarta! 😍🌴 Please send us an inbox! *Restrictions may apply

#loveislove #loveislove🌈

Can The Sheraton Be Given The Benefit Of The Doubt?

I don’t automatically always want to assume the worst in people, so I’ve been trying to think if there’s any world in which this isn’t homophobic.

The person they were in contact with may not have had a great grasp of the English language, so perhaps some benefit of the doubt should be given in regards to how exactly things were phrased.

That being said, I can’t think of any interpretation of the email where it wasn’t intended the way it came across. Josh had no special requests, so it’s not like he was asking the banquet staff to perform a choreographed drag show (though I feel like even that shouldn’t be so hard to find in Puerto Vallarta?).

At an absolute minimum, this situation shows a lot of ignorance on the part of the person they were in contact with. And unfortunately that ignorance when it comes to gay weddings is pretty widespread. I don’t want to name and shame, but I know when I got married someone who otherwise supports my relationship asked (seriously) if one of us was going to wear a dress at the wedding, given that I was explaining gay weddings are the same as straight weddings.

I suspect it’s still somewhat generational.

But seriously, there’s simply no excuse for this, as far as I’m concerned.

What do you make of this situation? Is there any way to interpret the email from the Sheraton in a way that doesn’t seem terrible?

Comments
  1. I wonder if Hilton hotels have better internal training about equal treatment among guests?
    My husband and I are a straight couple but properties always assume we’re not because they have me down as a MR. in my account profile due to my androgynous name. As rock climbing travel bloggers, we end up staying at Hilton properties all over the world and haven’t had any issues so far even though properties continue to address me (as MR) and my husband. Whether or not this is just for PR, it definitely makes me like the Hilton brand more (so I guess it worked! lol). 🙂 🙂

  2. There’s no excuse. It makes me happy I stopped doing business with Marriott after the merger. It doesn’t appear they’ve really responded at all.

  3. Wow to this Sheraton situation. Just wow! Not even going to address how wrong that is.
    But, to your point that “gay weddings are the same as straight weddings.” I, respectfully, disagree. It’s not about the love and commitment part, of course, but about the ceremony and celebration. That characterization makes some people confused, ie. old Aunt Sally’s question about wearing a dress. But also, it can downplay some gay people who do want to make it about their union being different. Don’t you think?
    ANY wedding where the two people are looking for something different than run of the mill is going to be *different*. My tri-lingual, multi-faith destination wedding was definitely a first for our resort and our families.
    What I’m driving at is that the emphasis shouldn’t be on gay or straight, but on the personal and human side. We should start educating people that a gay wedding is the same as any wedding where two people who love each other are committing themselves to each other. My 2 cents.

  4. Marriot is owned by a Mormon family and the current head is an active conservative GOP. It’s not impossible to think that equality training might be a lower priority even if it’s good business.

    When a family has a controlling interest in a company they can push certain interests. Might not be the case here but could very well play a role.

  5. These stories fail to mention he was shopping for a “Hosted” wedding in exchange for social media coverage… Sheraton’s response could certainly have been better, but the had every right to decline to give him a free wedding.

  6. @ Nick — Sorry, did I miss that somewhere? Obviously the hotel has a right to turn down a “hosted” wedding, though at the same time the reason given seems every bit as ridiculous, and I don’t think it makes the Sheraton look any better? If they didn’t want to host a wedding because they didn’t need the promotion that’s totally fine, but it shouldn’t be because they’re not “specialized” in gay weddings.

  7. I think that there is simply no scenario in which that mail doesn’t come across as homophobic. But as a Latina (born and bread in Colombia) let me tell you: As much as Latin American destinations are friendly to all kinds of tourists, gender equality, and that includes same-sex marriage, is still (sadly) a topic of controversy. Centuries of Catholicism, a religion that enforces that a family can only be constituted by a man and a woman joined in holy matrimony by god and their offspring, make it difficult for some to accept other types of couples and families. Many countries have adopted laws that make sure that everyone has the same rights – in Bogota our elected Mayor just got married to her longtime girlfriend – but socially and culturally for many people same-sex marriage is still Taboo. So I wouldn’t be surprised if the staff at the Sheraton Puerto Vallarta were just a bit too catholic for their customers.

  8. @ Nilda — Totally fair point, though I think this might come down to semantics. My point with saying that “gay weddings are the same as straight weddings” was that every wedding is unique, and the concept of it being gay as such is no different than it being between people of different cultures, religions, etc.

  9. I think people should not try to enforce their ‘believe system’ on others and especially not on whole countries that they are not even citizen of. There are already enough gay-friendly places all over the world, it’s not longer some kind of opaque minority that needs to fight for anything. People can just choose places that are corresponding to their lifestyle.
    At the same time they are using their own freedom, they should have enough decency and respect to give others the freedom to decide to follow other, more restrictive/traditional/religious/family-orientated lifestyles.

    On another note, anti-trust-authorities need to step up their game: If you have just 5 big hotel-chains that are owning the global market, it becomes a big threat to cultural diversity. Americans are right to expect American cultural values at American hotel chains, but it becomes a big problem if these American hotel chain displaces other local hotels in foreign nations which upheld the local cultural values. Therefore Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Accor should be limited to only operate in a certain region or only a certain number of total bed-capacity per region.

  10. I dropped Hilton 16 years ago: was Diamond. My partner and I were refused upgrades twice at Hilton DC, and once told my partner would have to pay for lounge access.
    Conrad Singapore refused a room upgrade, and said my partner could pay for the lounge and fitness center.
    I called Corporate Customer care and was advised benefits are only extended to the card holder and the married spouse.

    Been with SPG/Marriott Bonvoy 20+ years and never had an issue with same sex couple in one room.

  11. @ Max — I’m a bit confused by your statement. “People can just choose places that are corresponding to their lifestyle.”

    Puerto Vallarta *is* known to be an extremely gay friendly destination, and Marriott is a brand that is publicly pro-LGBT. So they literally picked a “place that corresponds to their lifestyle,” and then this is what happened.

    They weren’t asking to have their wedding at a locally owned hotel in Saudi Arabia, they were asking to have their gay wedding at a gay destination at a pro-gay hotel brand.

    And when it comes to “imposing belief systems,” I love how you think that privilege should apply to people who want to impose their religious beliefs on others, but not to those who just want to live their life.

    Would you also support a hotel refusing to host weddings for those who have been divorced, or those who have had children out of wedlock, or those who aren’t virgin on their wedding night?

  12. Not a Sheraton or Marriott apologist by any means, but think that this was an individual or a manager who were carried away by personal beliefs and their “power”.

    Hotels are in the business of hospitality. Unfortunately, without a strong response to this situation by the Sheraton Bougainvillea, CVB Puerto Vallarta and CVB Riviera Nayarit, one has to wonder how welcoming the area would be to “others”.

    Thank you Hilton Puerto Vallarta for stepping up and reaffirming your values of equality and inclusivity.

    Both CVBs spend a lot of energy and money touting Puerto Vallarta as welcoming and inclusive. They might want to reinforce those values with their members.

  13. A few observations:

    1) isn’t it interesting that a post about a gay couple facing discrimination doesn’t elicit comments some of Lucky’s conservative regulars…sigh;

    2) first bigger point, @Nilda: while I appreciate your love-is-love/it doesn’t matter if it’s gay or straight message because I know it is coming from a good place, please think a bit about how that perspective, no matter how well intentioned it may be, falls on people who have been marginalized for their entire lives. While most of the world STILL treats LGBTQ individuals as “others,” it is oftentimes hard to hear or read something like, “I don’t see gay or straight!” because in some ways, it negates the struggles we, as LGBTQ individuals, still face and work hard to overcome. Again, I know your intentions are good here, but in a similar vein (though not the entirely the same!) to “I don’t see color! I don’t see black or white, just people!” saying you don’t “see” or care about a difference doesn’t always affirm those who have been marginalized because of their difference.

    3) second bigger point – this is ridiculous on the part of Sheraton/Marriott, unquestionably, but as a gay man, I’d much rather know that a hotel or resort isn’t going to respect my humanity up front so I can give my business to a place that will; avoid having me, my fiancé, and 50 of my nearest and dearest fly somewhere and be made to feel sh$&^y; and avoid having my special day ruined by ignorance and homophobia. I suspect the person this guy was communicating with was trying to tell him that he’d be better off going elsewhere because they didn’t want his special day to not be what he and his guests wanted. Of course, this also suggests that this Sheraton (and perhaps all Marriott portfolio hotels) needs better diversity and inclusion training and practices…but for this individual, at this time, seems like the employee was trying to help him dodge a bullet. Or, perhaps they were a homophobic a%$*(&e! Either way, I am glad this story has surfaced, and that my hotel loyalty is with Accor :).

  14. I don’t know how this is still an issue these days. It is not like gay people need special accommodation. The only accommodation required are what 2 adults would normally need. They don’t need gender neutral bathroom, they don’t need special/extra services, they don’t need extra space/seat, etc.. I’m not saying that people that need special accommodation should be treated badly, but trying to make a point, that there is no difference between gay or straight guest/passengers in terms of service having to be different.

  15. I was expecting a “there’s already enough places for you gays” in the first ten comments. Turns out it took more like 15.

    Oh, well, maybe that’s progress? Here’s hoping in 2020 we can get it to 20 or 25.

  16. @ Larry — Hah. Don’t have too much hope in society, because that comment was among the first 15 despite the fourth and fifth sentences of the post saying this:
    “I think it’s worth pointing out that Puerto Vallarta as a destination is extremely gay friendly, so you’d think this wouldn’t come as a surprising request. It would be like reaching out to a hotel in Palm Springs or Mykonos for a gay wedding.”

    If I hadn’t included that, maybe it would have been the first comment!

  17. Not sure why it would be any different to host a gay wedding from the standpoint of hotel logistics and ability to accommodate it. Sounds like it would be very easy with just some basic coordination with the couple. Its like they aren’t even trying to hide their homophobia, with an excuse as thin as that.

  18. It’s also important to note that gay marriage is recognized throughout Mexico and gay civil marriages are performed in many Mexican states, including Jalisco. This couple was asking for something that is totally legal and normal even for locals (even if some of them don’t like it).

  19. Not sure all of Marriott should be painted with the same brush. Shame on this hotel employee and this hotel for a lame email rejection that may or may not have been motivated by some combination of bigotry and/or ignorance.

    Well played Hilton!

    For those who want their travel dollars to correspond to their social policies, IHG’s corporate culture is extremely inclusive as is their corporate staff in Atlanta.

  20. Do we have the full email correspondence? Or just the response from the Sheraton?

    Honestly I’m not sure how anyone is interpreting the Sheraton response as anti-LGBT, because it is garbled and incoherent and sounds like something put through a third-rate version of Google Translate and then cut-and-pasted with the words out of order.

    Finally, I suspect the gentleman in question craves attention and that’s what he got so bully for him.

  21. @ William — Not the full email correspondence, though there is a screenshot of that email in full (so that wasn’t just selectively quoting in that email). I’m curious, even taking into account possible translation issues, how else could you interpret it?

  22. [email protected], many things have changed in the last 20 years. My husband and I are Hilton Gold for the last few years. We’ve always been treated with respect on our travels, whether it is here in the US, in Europe, and Asia (including China). We’ve not been denied upgrades, nor have either of us been treated with any kind of disrespect. In fact, we enjoy the many privileges we get, including upgrades, lounges, free weekends, etc.

  23. I’m gonna bet they requested Barbra Streisand songs to be played at the ceremony. That’s a deal breaker right there for a lot of people.

  24. Not having the full correspondence, it sounds like maybe the YouTube guy was making excessive demands and the hotel was trying to say (in Klingon or something translated to English via Swahili) “Thanks but no thanks,” while making it seem like they were more concerned about his special day than their bottom line. The “equal” and “special” stuff could be in context of weddings that are paid for by the wedding party as opposed to comped by the hotel for promotional purposes.

    At any rate, being oppressed seems quite lucrative these days – as I plan my next vacation, I can only hope I have the ghost of Fred Phelps as my Virtuoso agent and fall bass-ackwards into a free trip.

  25. @Ed
    Things have changed in last 20 years?
    We never experienced any discrimination at: SPG; Hyatt; BW; or Marriott over past 20 years. Only with Hilton and their Corp office confirmed it was their marriage policy.

  26. @Ben (Lucky)
    In this case the situation is a little bit more complicated, I’ll expand my thoughts:

    1.) First of all, this guy is a shameless freeloader who is using his business to try to score a free private party for 50 persons. Business and Private matters should be strictly separated, comped “review” stays or business stays might be ok, a comped private stay where the hotel reaches out first probably also, but a private stay where the guest is begging the hotel is definitely not.

    Trying to creating a scandal and trying to shame the hotel publicly for refusing such a begging request is very low-level behavior. ‘Try your luck but shut up if you don’t get lucky today’ should be the way of handling such begging requests.

    2.) Choosing a Marriott hotel is totally fine if they are known to be gay-friendly.

    3.) Same with Puerto Vallarta, totally fine choosing it if it is known as gay-friendly.

    4.) Bad choice by the employees of the hotel to work for a gay-friendly brand in a gay-friendly place if it contradicts their own lifestyle choices.

    5.) Shame on anti-trust-authorities to let Marriott become so big worldwide that they can single-handedly enforce their own culture worldwide on 7000 hotel properties with more than 1 million beds. This is too big and to much cultural soft-power in the hands of too few people.

    6.) Conflict is not evolving around who is doing what at home in private with whom but around what is taking place in public:
    A powerful lifestyle movement has evolved around this topic. And as any such movement it faces backlash from an opposite-directed movement on the other side that has grown correspondingly.

  27. @ Max — I’m always happy to have a reasonable discussion with someone. But that discussion stops when me living my life the way I was born is referred to as a “powerful lifestyle movement.”

    On the plus side, this “powerful movement” seems to be headed in the right direction and will be a non-issue in a generation in much of the world.

    There are no facts to support your claim that there’s an “opposite-directed movement” on the other side that has grown correspondingly. You’re part of an increasingly small minority. If you want to be left behind, I guess that’s your prerogative.

  28. @Max:

    There’s a common fallacy in your post—that being gay is about what happens in your home in private. It’s actually not different than your heterosexuality—it’s about sex and love and who you fantasize about and who you fall in love with and who you like to hold hands with on the beach and who you introduce to your coworkers.

    If you dislike/hate/are disgusted by who people are (in every facet of their lives, and every facet of their existence), and think that disgust/dislike is somehow comparable or equivalent to being gay, it’s probably time for some serious introspection.

  29. I’m uncomfortable jumping on the bandwagon because the proposed event was not to be paid. I might jump on the bandwagon if I saw all related correspondence.

    I’m very very cautious about accusing a citizen of México, a wonderful hospitable gay-friendly country in my experience, of homophobia. It’s a foul accusation and I’d want to be sure.

    I’m no apologist. I’m as queer as a three-dollar bill. But let’s measure twice and cut once.

    Yes, Ben, I do think there’s room for doubt. If the story has legs, we’ll hear soon enough from the Sheraton guy.

  30. With “powerful lifestyle movement” I’m trying to say most conflicts today are not about how individual persons are (who are and should be totally free), but about how things are handled in public. Searching for discrimination left-and-right in every situation where there is none to create divide wears off a lot of people. If you go out every person you will see is facing some kind of struggle in his life and identity, but only few make a big deal of it.

    Using essential personal things (sexual orientation) in a commercial way like this guy (Mr. Gay Canada, why is just Mr. Canada no matter if straight or gay not ok?) creates inevitably backlash. And this backlash is mainly directed against this commercialisation. Media ‘loves’ all kinds of groups who feel discriminated against and tries to scandalize everything in order to make more money. People are just tired of this.

  31. The net result of this post, for me: I am now aware of the Mr. Gay Canada competition and there likely is an anti-gay employee/s at this Sheraton.

    You learn something new everyday!

  32. That the vlogger was asking for a comped wedding reception is a very big deal. The entitlement that oozes from the “youtube influencers” when their proposals are rejected is unbecoming. Sure, and now let’s play the gay card. The hotel is entirely in its right to reject the obscene demands of freeloaders for a free wedding reception.

  33. While I agree that this is an unfortunate situation, can this incident be isolated to a single employee. I don’t think this single person’s actions accurately represents what Marriot stands for.

  34. Awful. Good on Hilton for stepping up. I’m increasingly happy to be a Diamond member (based solely on my Aspire card).

    Ben, as a Titanium member with stays, I’d love to hear your latest thoughts on the best use of Bonvoy points. I have no idea what to do with them anymore.

  35. @Max

    1) Where did you get the impression that Mr. Rimer was trying to get anything for free? From what Mr. Rimer reports, he attempted to book a party and a stay for 45 people. Sheraton’s hotline however, tried to scam Mr. Rimer out of his money, by offering him some shady “cruise prize”. Do you often pull facts out of your @$$, Max? Oh, and excuse my probity.

    2) By “gay friendly” do you mean “human friendly”? Asking for a friend.

    3) I didn’t know there were areas specializing in treating humans with dignity and respect, but hey, I’m learning something every day.

    4) I assume the employees are paid to be there anyway like in any other service job, servicing humans they might agree or disagree with. Should you disagree, you are more than welcome and encouraged to take your opinion with you home, and shout it into a wall or a pillow of your own choice. As long as your employer commands you to prepare that wedding cake for compensation or hire, nobody is really interested in your personal, bigoted opinion. You are being paid to be a professional cake building man, does that make any sense?

    5) Highly irrelevant.

    6) Very good. In the end, money talks, and the people who prefer other stuff than heterosexual missionary position with lights off, will be able to choose a venue that is less condemning of their questionable “lifestyle at home”.

    People who like it different might be just as good or even better than you, remember that.

  36. To be fair to Marriott, this is certainly not consistent with their values and mission. I used to work for Marriott many years ago, albeit in a liberal state, and we hosted a number of gay weddings well before they were recognized at the federal level. It was always imparted on us that we were to be welcoming, tolerant, and courteous toward all guests without any regard to things like sexual orientation.

  37. Lucky, you seem to be taking this quite personally, which is understandable I suppose, but it’s people like this who give lifestyle/travel bloggers a bad name by reinforcing the idea that the entire endeavor is rooted in self-involvement and that their praise is for sale to the highest bidder, with punishment being swift for those brands that don’t play along.

    I would simply restate the thrill of living in advanced and decadent Western Civilization, in which (to use this as an example) the ostensibly oppressed, if they are sufficiently talented at rooting out hateful messages from incoherent emails, receive lavish celebrations free of charge from major corporations in return for their suffering. Many of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in less evolved societies (some of which you have happily traveled to and through) would love to weigh in on the irony of this situation, but they’ve been executed by their governments for being gay.

  38. Puerto Vallarta is so gay friendly their clubs frequently host Andr*w Christi*n models. But you knew this, didn’t you? 😉

  39. Not quite sure why it would matter if the guy was asking for freebies. If the answer is, essentially, “No, because you are gay,” then the hotel is in the wrong and has no defense.

    @Max – Please explain to me what exactly antitrust has to do with anything. On second thought, don’t. You clearly have no understanding of the subject whatsoever.

  40. Marriot lost my business, any business that doesn’t offer equality in 2019 is a joke.
    Hotels in Dubai, now address gay people using Mr and Mr for example, at least 5* hotels
    Heck even,Airlines that are based in conservative countries, look at Emirates are trained to deal with it.
    This is totally unacceptable and there’s no excuse, you lost my business and I hope others do the same.
    You either offer to host weddings or not, but to NOT offer to Gay people and using a silly excuse is not okay

  41. @Nick, thanks for pointing out to the readers the context that this vlogger was also trying to get a all-paid venue, when most people spend thousands of hard-earned dollars or even borrow money to pay for their wedding.

    @Max, helpful to know this guy is a free-loader.

  42. @Ralph4878
    I’m confused by your take away and not sure you’re understanding my implied point. Yes, while I do believe love is love, I also think there are people who want their union to be marked by the significance and difference of it. I said as such, “can downplay some gay people who DO want to make it about their union being different.” Who said anything about I don’t see gay or straight? I don’t believe in not seeing color and other similar cliches because it white washes struggles and personal character. I do believe we should treat people as we would want to be treated, etc. I guess that’s the “human” part of what I wrote that confused you. Honestly, this Latina has more love for people who are different, have rich stories to tell and are loud and proud of what sets them apart.

  43. @Ben @Lucky

    SHAME ON YOU!!!

    “As someone who has gotten (gay) married”

    Ben – YOU GOT MARRIED.

    Do not qualify it as something less or different.

    Equality is just that… EQUAL.

  44. @Tom: whether or not this was ‘legal’ discrimination isn’t the point. The point is that, in a a gay resort town in 2019, these are not great for the resort’s optics…

  45. @TravelingJoeinEcon and others, as far as I can tell, he was trying to book a PAID wedding at the Sheraton. He had questions for the sales executive about various things, like PRICES, and was trying to get answers before committing. That seems perfectly reasonable to me, especially if you’re on a budget. I find it pretty sketchy that the salesperson was reluctant to reveal in-house videographer and photographer rates without a signed contract and deposit.

    The first time that he was offered anything for free (aside from the scam vacation from the Sheraton/Marriott toll-free number) was after the fiasco. Is he a freeloader for accepting unsolicited freebies from companies he didn’t even contact in the first place?

  46. @ben my sister had fab wedding in PV at the Westin. She and her wife were pampered by many staffers and GM upgraded them to the extremely nice Pres suite. So to throw this on Marriott as a generalization as some are doing here is unfair.

    And as a journalist – while this clearly looks bad, I agree with others who believe it’s difficult to really understand the full context of the situation without seeing the entire communication start to finish.

    A trial should have all the facts, from both sides before verdict is decided. Right ?

    Or do we just give everyone a fair trial then hang them ?

    You are the best Ben and it’s understandable to be emotional on something like this. But always try to keep your perspective even when it’s the hardest thing to do – correction: ESPECIALLY when it’s close to home and unusually hard to do.

  47. They are over thinking and taking the whole context wrongly as offensive, just like using ‘you people’ with certain race or religion where it was meant just as your party not your ancestors.

    I would take their word of not trying to ruin the big day, which I applaud the property for being up front and not greedy by not taking the event rather than doing it wrong.

    Like many have said, it’s probably the lack of training. This is quite a let down by SPG/Marriott given that in 2019 we are really into equality.

  48. Marriott corporate response will tell me whether I will continue to do business with them. I won’t judge the entire chain on how one staff member behaves.

  49. Marriott isn’t “owned” by Mormons. The largest shareholder is Vanguard Group with less than 3%. And Arne Sorenson led has led a push to be gay-friendly since he became chairman.

  50. @ben my sister had fab wedding in PV at the Westin. She and her wife were pampered by many staffers and GM upgraded them to the extremely nice Pres suite. So to throw this on Marriott as a generalization as some are doing here is unfair.

    And as a journalist – while this clearly looks bad, I agree with others who believe it’s difficult to really understand the full context of the situation without seeing the entire communication start to finish.

    A trial should have all the facts, from both sides before verdict is decided. Right ?

    Or do we just give everyone a fair trial then hang them ?

    You are the best Travel Blogger on Earth Ben, and it’s understandable to be emotional on something like this. But always try to keep your perspective even when it’s the hardest thing to do – correction: ESPECIALLY when it’s close to home and unusually hard to do.

  51. Am I the only one who finds this to be such a hyped up drama?
    Firstly, I read the “equal wedding” as a bad translation for same sex wedding.
    Secondly, even if they specialised in gay weddings, why would they be researching someone online and make them a better deal just because they are an “influencer”! What happened to equality there?

    I do agree that for a brand like Sheraton, at a gay friendly destination, it is surprising and disappointing that they don’t (want to) deal with same sex weddings. But why is it so offensive when all they are saying is that they don’t want to ruin their special day due to the lack of “specialism”?

    I am not arguing any of the comments about all weddings being the same etc etc… but rather than the anti-LGBTQ+ label that was swiftly awarded, I’d be much more concerned about the issue with the phone numbers, the voicemail, and the overall poor customer service!

    And yes, I am one of the letters in LGBTQ+!

  52. I think you should slow your role. There must’ve been some miscommunication. Mexico is very friendly, especially PVR; but as a guest you need to make sure that they understand your criteria and that you respect the culture.

    -A Gay Mexican-American

  53. @Max
    “I think people should not try to enforce their ‘believe system’ on others and especially not on whole countries that they are not even citizen of.”

    Nope, they are wrong. Sometimes a belief system is ethically superior to whatever is being practiced in that region. Screw political correctness.

    This moral relativism reminds me of how the British dealt with the burning of widows when the husband died:

    “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

    Back to your response:

    “There are already enough gay-friendly places all over the world, it’s not longer some kind of opaque minority that needs to fight for anything.”

    Not true at all. I think that by making place more LGBT accepting we are benefiting local LGBT residents.

    “At the same time they are using their own freedom, they should have enough decency and respect to give others the freedom to decide to follow other, more restrictive/traditional/religious/family-orientated lifestyles.”

    The traditions those individuals have are backwards and wrong. I suppose if your mother visited some Middle Eastern Theocracy and her veil slipped you would be okay with the Vice and Virtue police beating her?

    “If you have just 5 big hotel-chains that are owning the global market, it becomes a big threat to cultural diversity.”

    Again, their culture is inferior.

  54. @Ben
    “As someone who has gotten (gay) married, and has tried to explain to people that a gay wedding is the same as a straight wedding”

    You know that is not true Ben. You and I both know each table has to have an equal distribution of Twinks, Daddies, Bears, Cubs, and guys into leather.

    😉

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