Hyatt Hotels Corp., one of the nation’s largest hotel companies, announced it will no longer host hate groups at its nearly 800 properties, a move that was praised by a Muslim advocacy group.
Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of the hotel company, released a memo to employees Thursday, explaining the new anti-hate policy for Hyatt Hotels Corp.
The hotel company declined to release the memo Friday but instead issued a statement saying: “Hyatt will no longer allow hate groups, those who primarily seek to disparage or demean a specific group of people, to host meetings or events at our hotels.”
Muslim Advocates, an Oakland-based civil rights advocacy group that has been pressing hotel companies to take similar steps against hate groups, called the decision a victory.
“Hyatt’s announcement is a welcome one for consumers who want their hotels to be safe spaces to relax and be themselves free from hostility and discrimination,” said Scott Simpson, public advocacy director for Muslim Advocates.
Simpson said Hyatt is the first hotel firm to make such a commitment to his group. He said Airbnb, the online home-sharing site, has also committed that it will not do business with hate groups.
The Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Virginia hosted a group in September called ACT for America, which describes itself as an organization dedicated to educating and training Americans to “help prevent criminal activity and terrorism.”
But Muslim Advocates accuses ACT for America of being a “white supremacist-aligned anti-Muslim hate group.” Muslim Advocates has pressed Hyatt and other hotel companies to refuse to rent to ACT for America.
ACT for America could not be reached for comment but in a news release issued Friday in response to similar accusations by the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACT for America said the group “has never, and will never, tolerate any bias, discrimination, or violence against anyone, based on their religion, gender, race or political persuasion.”
It was not clear from Hyatt’s statement how the hotel company planned to determine which groups promote hate, but it added: “This is a complex and emotional issue, but what we’ve concluded is that we need to commit to a higher level of vetting such that groups using hate speech, primarily seeking to disparage or demean a particular group, are not welcome in our hotels.”