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Marriott Urged To Drop Adult Movies

Several conservative groups, including the American Family Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop giving hotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexual content.

AFA, based in Tupelo, said 47 "pro-family leaders" have signed a letter asking the chain's chief executive, J.W. Marriott Jr., for a meeting to discuss their concerns.

Marriott was told that stopping "porn movies" would be in keeping with the corporation's position of "promoting the well-being of children and families," AFA said in a news release.

Marriott's Web site says the hotel chain has about 3,000 properties in the U.S. and 67 other countries and territories. AFA said most of these hotels offer in-room movies with pornographic content.

Roger Conner, vice president of communications for Marriott International, said Thursday the company would review the group's letter and the request for a meeting.

Conner said Marriott and most hotel chains offer in-room entertainment that includes a wide range of films and "just one of those is adult offerings."

"Every guest can quickly and easily block out just the adult movie offering by either calling the front desk or using their (TV) remote pad in the room," Conner said. "It does not appear at all if the guest does not want the offering."

It's not the first time the issue of Marriott's movie offerings has been raised.

Former Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney was criticized during his campaign by social conservatives who argued he should have tried to halt hardcore hotel movie offerings during his near-decade on the Marriott board. Conservative activists said the offerings run counter to the family image cultivated by Romney, the Marriott family and their shared Mormon faith.

AFA announced in March that it was ending a two-year boycott of Ford Motor Co., saying the company had met most of its demands, which included ending donations to groups that support same-sex marriage.

Ford said in a statement that its principles haven't changed, but that it has reduced overall advertising and charitable spending in recent years because of losses in North America. Ford lost $2.7 billion in 2007.

Among those participating in the letter to Marriott, according to AFA, are James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of High Impact Leadership Council; and Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media.