Gay chamber brings ’13 conference to Omni Dallas 4 years after benefits flap

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce has selected Dallas as the city to host its summer 2013 National Business & Leadership Conference — and the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel as the venue.

The 10th anniversary conference will come to Dallas four years after local controversy over Dallas’ city-operated Omni offering domestic partner benefits. Dallas Voice raised questions about the hotel not offering DP benefits in 2009 after the city signed a 15-year operating agreement with the company for the $500 million hotel.

Omni is one of the few major hotel chains that doesn’t offer domestic partner benefits to its employees throughout the U.S. Omni is also owned by Oak Lawn-based TRT Holdings, whose CEO, Robert Rowling, has contributed millions to Karl Rove’s super PAC, American Crossroads.

The convention center hotel later announced it would offer DP benefits when it opened last fall after Mayor Tom Leppert convinced the company to do so, even though it hadn’t been considered as part of the operating agreement between the city and the hotel.

Omni is now a member of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce.

“The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce is honored to be hosting the 2013 NGLCC Business & Leadership Conference,” President & CEO of the North Texas GLBT Chamber Tony Vedda said in a release. “Dallas is a city of entrepreneurs and innovation; two words that are synonymous with the NGLCC. It seems only fitting that Dallas should host the NGLCC’s 10th anniversary conference.”

The conference will be from July 30 to Aug. 2. Registration begins Feb. 1.

Read the full press release below.

—  Anna Waugh