Skip to comments.S.D. gay activists join call for nationwide boycott (Day without A Gay)
Posted on 12/09/2008 11:22:35 AM PST by radar101
Gay rights activists in San Diego and elsewhere, hoping to sustain a grass-roots protest movement launched after the Nov. 4 passage of Proposition 8, have planned a nationwide boycott tomorrow. The event, called Day Without a Gay, encourages gays, lesbians and their supporters to take off work, refrain from shopping and spend the day volunteering somewhere.
We're hoping to provide a visual representation of who we are, said Sara Beth Brooks, an El Cajon bookkeeper who recently formed a group called the San Diego Equality Campaign. We're your neighbors, your family, your friends. We're everybody. We hope this kind of economic stand will prove a point.
Organizers said they don't know how many people will participate, but several local employers said they aren't expecting many absences. More than 143,000 people across the country had RSVP'd through Facebook yesterday afternoon. An additional 84,000 listed themselves as maybe.
The boycott follows recent street marches in cities across the country, the online outing of contributors to the Yes on 8 campaign, and boycotts of individual businesses run by Yes on 8 donors.
This used to be a pretty complacent civil rights movement, said Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate. Not any more.
San Diego has been a hotbed, with 20,000 people marching in a protest here Nov. 15, and two local firms, the Manchester hotels and A-1 Self-Storage, being targeted by Karger's group for boycotts.
Frank Schubert, campaign manager for Protect Marriage-Yes on 8, said, I don't think anybody has any difficulty with legitimate protest or freedom of expression. Our objection is when protests cross the line into persecution. People on our side of the issue have been blacklisted, boycotted, harassed. That's wrong.
He said Day Without A Gay is really irrelevant to Proposition 8. Our campaign was never about attacking gays or disparaging their contributions to society. It was simply about marriage and how it should be defined.
Among gay rights activists, some of the emphasis seems to be shifting from confrontation to conversation. Organizers of a Dec. 20 candlelight vigil at six local shopping centers are asking participants not to bring protest signs or chant.
The San Diego Equality Campaign, formed after the election, is creating a speakers bureau and has begun sending volunteers to address public meetings in communities where Proposition 8 passed handily.
Day Without a Gay was originally planned as just an economic boycott, to remind people that even though we get up every morning and do our jobs, pay our taxes, defend the country in the military, we are still being treated like second-class citizens, said David Craig, a Los Angeles film producer and co-organizer.
But then Sean Hetherington and Aaron Hartzler, a couple in Los Angeles, suggested adding community service to the mix. We just thought a boycott was a little divisive, especially with the economy the way it is, Hetherington said.
In San Diego, Ophira Bergman said she'll be staying home from her job with a video-technology company, and she's canceling the karate class she teaches at UC San Diego. She'll be volunteering instead at the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County's annual Gingerbread City fundraiser.
It's important to me to shed light on gay people and the inequality we face from not having marriages that are legally recognized, Bergman said. I don't think people get it.
Day Without a Gay is patterned after the Day Without An Immigrant protest in May 2006, which featured large marches in several major American cities, including San Diego. Numerous businesses, especially restaurants, were affected, with some forced to shut down for the day.
No major marches are planned for tomorrow. We've already had marches, Craig said. We wanted to do something different.
Craig admitted it will be difficult to gauge the day's impact. Some boycott supporters are planning to work because they can't get the time off, aren't comfortable calling in gay, or have employers who already back equal rights for gays.
Representatives of several large San Diego-area workplaces said that they don't expect a lot of absences, but that anyone taking the day off would need to use personal time and clear it with a supervisor first.
The 800-member Greater San Diego Business Association, also known as the gay and lesbian chamber of commerce, has taken no official position on the boycott.
Joyce Marieb, chief executive officer, said she supports people doing what they believe is right, but also suggested the gay and lesbian community could leverage our economic power by supporting companies that support equal rights for their employees and all marginalized groups.
What’s a day without a gay, sad?
Don't know, nope and No Way.
Day Without a Gay, encourages gays, lesbians and their supporters to take off work, refrain from shopping and spend the day volunteering somewhere.....
How about a lifetime without a gay?....
The absurdity of calling pderasty gaiety comes to fore!
Mexicans did this too.
We got through it fine.
A day without fudge pushers!
In a time of history when a GUY with a job is fortunate and lucky...they are stupid for calling on this campaign. Maybe during a season when there were an excess of jobs. If I had to fire someone, I think I know which one I would pick. Wonder if Sen. Craig will be calling to his office he won´t be coming to work.
There is no San Diego Union. It’s the Union Tribune.
A day without a gay will be like a trip down memory lane for me. I am old enough to remember when sexual behavior was a private matter.
“How about a lifetime without a gay?....”
That’ll work for me!
.....and nothing of value was lost.
Don’t stop at a day. Why squander an opportunity?
Maybe it’s time to short interior decorating stocks and specialty mutual funds!
Every day should be a day without a gay.
Hmmmmmmmmm, so whoever doesn’t show up for work tomorrow is either gay or a lesbian, interesting, pay attention people!
Time to do the Christmas Shopping
How about a WEEK without a Gay?
How about a MONTH without a Gay?
How about a YEAR without a Gay?
How about a DECADE without a Gay?
How about a CENTURY without a Gay?...............
You will be terminated for cause!
Don’t make them angry. They’ll redecorate.