People urged to 'call in gay'

Dec. 9, 2008 at 12:47 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Gays will try to heighten the straight community's awareness of their rights and impact on the U.S. economy this week by staging a calling in "gay" to work day.

Organizers are calling it "Day Without A Gay," the Bay Area Reporter said. They have set up a Web site -- http://www.daywithoutagay.org -- and say heterosexuals are being encouraged to take part Wednesday.

Gay film producer David Craig, 44, of Los Angeles, one of the promoters, said the idea isn't to foment chaos.

"We're not going to destroy the economy for the day," he said. "It's about placing your rights above your pocketbook and contributing to society in other ways."

Not everyone who favors equal treatment for gays is on board with the plan, given the recession.

"In this economy? I think it's a misguided effort," said Patrick Batt, who owns Auto Erotica in San Francisco.

Batt said a similar effort in the 1970s didn't produce the desired result.

"That didn't happen in the 1970s, and I'd be surprised if it happened now," he said.

Sean Hetherington, a 30-year-old trainer and stand-up comic who lives in West Hollywood, suggested people who "call in gay" not just ditch work and sit at home. He and others are suggesting people use the day to do volunteer work.

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