Monday, August 18, 2008
The Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools has announced that the 2009 Annual Meeting of the AALS will still be held in San Diego, but that no AALS events will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The owner of that hotel (Doug Manchester) contributed $125,000 to help put the anti-gay constitutional amendment on the November ballot. The constitutional amendment would repeal the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
The Legal Writing Institute (and other groups, such as the Society of American Law Teachers) had written to the AALS earlier to inform them that they would also not be holding any events at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Several AALS Sections also voiced their concerns about holding any meetings at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.
AALS had been in a difficult position -- it is not easy to move thousands of people at the last minute. The solution reached helps ensure that as little money as possible will go to fund further discrimination.
August 15, 2008
The AALS 2009 Annual Meeting will take place January 6-10, 2009, in San Diego, California. Several years ago the Association booked rooms at the San Diego Marriott and the Manchester Grand Hyatt. In the last few weeks there have been suggestions that the Association should boycott the Hyatt because its owner has contributed money to a ballot initiative designed to overturn the California Supreme Court's May decision in favor of same-sex marriage. In addressing this issue, the Executive Committee has sought to ensure that the Annual Meeting serves the needs of all participants to the maximum extent possible given our contractual obligations to the hotels.
Our contracts with the hotels provide that each hotel reserve a block of guest rooms, and leave to the AALS the choice of where to locate the AALS Registration, Exhibit Hall, Section Programs, Presidential Programs, and House of Representatives meetings. We will honor our contracts with both hotels, and we have exercised our option to hold all AALS events at the Marriott to ensure the maximum participation by our members.
Law schools and other organizations hosting meetings and receptions will be contacted soon by an AALS meetings manager regarding the location of their events. Faculty and staff at law schools will soon receive housing information and you will be able to choose your individual hotel room on a first-come, first-served basis in accordance with the usual housing procedures.