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Mormon-owned hotel chain launches LGBT campaign

In an effort to foster diversity and attract more hotel visitors, Marriott International launched a marketing campaign aimed at queer travelers. The campaign, “Be You, With Us” was announced in connection with pride festivals being held around the world. The Marriott Corporation has more than 3,700 properties in more than 70 countries around the world and it was founded by J. Willard Marriott, a Mormon.

“From our employees and owners to our suppliers, customers and shareholders, everyone brings something different to Marriott and we embrace all,” said Jimmie Paschall, the global diversity officer and senior vice president of external affairs for the hotel chain.

Marriott is famous for including copies of the Book of Mormon in hotel drawers along with the Gideon Bible. The chairman of the board, Bill Marriott Jr. is an active and participating member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and many of the chain’s corporate offices are located in Salt Lake City.

The Human Rights Campaign rated the corporate policies at 90 percent based on inclusive anti-discrimination policies as well as domestic partnership benefits for company employees.

“We are proud that the Human Rights Campaign recognizes our commitment to a culture of inclusiveness. It is in the fabric of our culture. Our employees, customers, owners and shareholders expect it and understand that it is what makes Marriott successful,” Paschall said.

Marriott hotels host events and fundraising galas for equality organizations around the world, including the HRC, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Parents Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. Marriott is also a participating member of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

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