It’s The Gay Flu, Call In Gay Day Set For Wednesday

Supporters of same-sex marriages have proposed people against the vote in California for Proposition 8 to “call in gay” Wednesday. The official title is “Day without A Gay” is set to coincide with International Human Rights Day.

The plan is being modeled after similar work stoppages by Latino immigrants. Those who call in gay are encouraged to use their day off volunteering and not spending their money.

The idea was thought up by West Hollywood comedian Sean Hetherington and his boyfriend Aaron Hartzler. The couple had been reading about angry gay-right activists who were calling for an all day strike after the passage of Proposition 8. On election day voters reversed the Supreme Court decision that allowed for gay marriages.

Thinking instead of an angry protest a peaceful community service day would send out a more powerful message. Dozens of nonprofit agencies agree listing opportunities for volunteers on the couple’s Web site.

The Associated Press reports:

“We are all for a boycott if that is what brings about a sense of community for people,” said Hetherington, 30, who plans to spend Wednesday volunteering at an inner-city school. “You can take away from the economy and give back in other ways.”

While many are in favor of this form of non-violent protest others don’t think that it’s practical.

“It’s extra-challenging for people to think about taking off work as a form of protest, given that we are talking about people who may not be out (as gay) at work, and given the current economic situation and job market,” said Jules Graves, 38, coordinator of the Colorado Queer Straight Alliance. “There is really not any assurance employers would appreciate it for what it is.”

Around the nation people are gearing up to serve their community after they call in Gay to work.

Join The Impact is another online community that is backing tomorrow’s protest. They have a list on their Web site on ways to make an impact.

That said, here are 5 ways you can make an impact tomorrow:
1. Volunteer your time and services after work
2. Do not buy anything
3. Do not watch TV or use your cell phone
4. Do not go online (yup, don’t even visit this site tomorrow)… Online advertising is everywhere and a simple page load could cause money to be spent.
5. Do not buy lunch (and don’t go out today to get what you need for lunch tomorrow), find something you already have and pack your lunch.

Hetherington is urging one sector of the gay community to not make the call though. High school students have been asked to not walk out of their classes and college students should take their final exams without fearing they are being disloyal to the cause.

For those who can’t afford to miss a day of work show your support by spreading the word about Wednesday’s plan and write to members of Congress about federal gay rights legislation.


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