Statement of the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies

January 18, 2000

Upon our recommendation, the Executive Council today voted unanimously to make an important change in some of its arrangements for the holding of the General Convention in Denver this July. The Church had intended to hold many of its hearings, meetings and events in the Adams Mark hotel facilities and had also reserved a large block of guestrooms at that hotel. Recent events involving that hotel chain have caused us to recommend that the Church not use those facilities and guestrooms. We intend to inform the hotel accordingly.

We were disturbed to learn just prior to Christmas that the United States Department of Justice had filed suit against the hotel chain in federal court in Florida alleging a broad pattern of racial discrimination in providing a variety of guest services. Subsequent discussion with hotel officials both in Denver and corporate headquarters in St. Louis, coupled with reports by diocese of Colorado representatives of discussions with local community and church leaders in Denver, failed to allay our concerns. The Church is obviously not in a position to assess the merit of the discrimination suit against the hotel chain. Nevertheless, the allegations of the Justice Department and other reports from local leaders citing similar problems with the Adams Mark in Denver led us to recommend to the Council that the Church not go forward with the planned arrangements to use any of the facilities of that hotel at the Denver convention.

As stated, the Council unanimously agreed that this action was the most appropriate response to the circumstances in light of the Church's profound commitment to eradicating racism in our Church and society.

Sincerely,

The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate

Dr. Pamela P. Chinnis, President House of Deputies

January 17, 2000