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Some Insurance Commissioners to Skip NAIC Meeting, Honor Boycott

As many as a dozen state insurance commissioners may skip the NAIC spring meeting in San Diego because of a boycott over the hotel owners'...
March 5, 2009

As many as a dozen state insurance commissioners may skip the NAIC spring meeting in San Diego because of a boycott over the hotel owners' support of California's ban on gay marriage.

Doug Manchester, owner of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, contributed $125,000 to the successful Proposition 8 campaign that banned gay marriage in California last November. Gay-rights groups, the Unite Here labor union and other organizations launched a boycott of the hotel in response. The Hyatt is the host hotel for the meeting and is where most sessions will be held.

Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg said 10 or so state commissioners, including himself, are skipping the NAIC meeting as a result. "Domestic partners have every right to be recognized," he said. "I don't think we should support someone who's been actively supporting that campaign." Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said he will not attend and will not send staff. "You run a risk when you're in retail and you participate in issues," Kreidler said. "When I heard about how the owner of the Hyatt was participating in these issues, that was enough for me." Maine Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman said she is not going but will be sending three staff members who will stay at a different hotel and not attend meetings at the Hyatt.

NAIC President and New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny said in a statement that to date, 14 commissioners have said they will not attend the spring meeting. On average, up to 10 commissioners are unable to attend any particular national meeting, he said.