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Marriott Petitioned To Stop Hosting 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Conference By All Out, SumOfUs

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MARRIOTT HOTEL
The Marriott hotel is seen near the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton N.J., Sunday, March 17, 2013. Trenton is spending $295,000 to keep the state capital's only hotel from closing its doors. The city-owned hotel has struggled for years to fill rooms and has become a money pit for Trenton. It's now a Marriott but that hotel chain has decided to pull out the end of June. Trenton is spending $1.4 million a year to pay off the costs of building the hotel a decade ago. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) | AP

A petition from pro-gay organization All Out and SumOfUs is aiming to put pressure on Marriott about the international hotel chain's polarizing decision to host to the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality's (NARTH) "ex-gay" therapy conference.

The conference itself is slated to take place this weekend, Nov. 8-9 at The Phoenix Marriott Airport Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona.

The petition notes that "The American Psychological Association says that 'gay cures' have 'serious potential to harm young people.' 'Gay cures' violate your human rights policy, so please cancel the booking for the NARTH conference in November and promise not to host 'gay cures' conferences in future."

Marriott has historically been known as an ally to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, serving as a sponsor for the 2014 Gay Games, having supported the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and achieving a high ranking on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.

The Huffington Post reached out the Marriott for a response to the wide-spread opposition surrounding the NARTH conference:

We realize that there are many strong opinions about this issue, and as an advocate for diversity and inclusion, including our friends in the LGBT community, we take this matter very seriously. That’s why we believe that we must maintain our obligation as a public hospitality company to open our doors to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race/ethnicity, culture or religion. Acceptance of this, or any other business, in no way constitutes support or endorsement of the group or its cause.

We are very proud that Marriott International has endorsed key LGBT civil rights legislation, joined HRC's business coalitions and signed the historic amicus brief this year urging the Supreme Court to repeal DOMA.

Marriott previously came under fire from the LGBT community and faced a boycott in 2008 because of the hotel giant's support of Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. The move caused Bill Marriott himself to release a statement that clarified the Mormon-owned company's belief about the need to separate personal faith and business.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the location and date of the upcoming NARTH conference. This has been corrected.

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