Ken Garff Boycott Ends

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A group that opposed California’s Proposition 8 has called an end to a boycott against one of Utah’s largest car dealers.

Californians Against Hate called for the boycott two weeks ago, because of a $100,000 donation made by Katharine Garff to efforts to pass the controversial measure, which re-banned gay marriage in California. Californians Against Hate was started in July of last year to draw attention to major Proposition 8 donors—those who contributed $5,000 or more to help pass the measure.

On Feb. 27, Californians Against Hate announced that they were calling off the two-week long boycott after “a wide ranging and very productive” meeting with CEO John Garff on Feb. 22, when Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger came to Salt Lake City to announce the boycott, as well as an investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission into the LDS Church’s non-monetary donations to pro-Prop. 8 campaigns. Karger has dubbed this investigation “Mormon Gate.”

According to Karger, a reporter asked him if he would meet with the Garff family while in town. Karger said he would, and was within CEO John Garff’s office within hours.

“John Garff and his father, Robert Garff, later met with Utah philanthropist and leader in the national LGBT community, Bruce Bastian,” said Californians Against Hate founder Fred Karger. “The purpose of that meeting was to share perspectives and to discuss a variety of issues in an effort to find mutual respect and understanding.”

“I believe that both Robert and John left the meeting with a better understanding of my work, the LGBT community, and the emotional significance of the passing of Proposition 8 to our community,” said Bastian. “I believe the Garff family now fully understands how sensitive and important this issue is to our community and to their friends and neighbors.”

“I believe we all came away from those meetings with a greater level of mutual respect and understanding,” said John Garff.

Bastian added that he was “grateful to the Garff family” for their willingness to listen “to the community in which they reside and do business.”   

Although Californians Against Hate has dismantled Web site for the Ken Garff boycott, it is still urging boycotts of other companies owned by Proposition 8 major donors. These include A-1 Self Storage and Manchester Hotels, three hotels owned by San Diegan Doug Manchester.

For more information visit californiansagainsthate.com.

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