Protesters Picket Hyatt, AHA





Waving signs reading: “We All Deserve the Freedom to Marry,” more than 200 gay-rights activists and union members representing hotel employees rallied outside the Manchester Grand Hyatt on Saturday in the latest protest over the owner’s support for a ban on gay marriage.

The protesters banged on drums, blew whistles and waved rainbow flags while chanting “Boycott the Hyatt — Check! Out! Now!”

The 2 p.m. rally targeted the American Historical Association, which decided to hold its annual conference this week at the Grand Hyatt despite an ongoing boycott.

About 4,000 of the association’s members — a tweedy mix of college professors, history teachers and librarians — are attending the conference that organizers decided to hold rather than pay steep cancellation penalties. A number of them said they were unaware of the protest, but others said they supported it.

Some conference participants joined in protest on Saturday. One was Joseph Varga, 46, assistant professor of labor studies at Indiana University, who showed his support for the boycott by walking around the conference rooms with a sign around his neck reading: “Angry queer historian.”

“The reason why I got angry,” he said, “is that I think the AHA should have done diligence on the guy who owns this hotel.”...

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