Gay community protests by taking day off

Gays, lesbians and their supporters throughout San Diego County were expected to take off work and refrain from shopping Wednesday as part of a nationwide boycott.

The event, called Day Without a Gay, was organized to help sustain a grass-roots protest movement launched after the Nov. 4 passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.

“We’re hoping to provide a visual representation of who we are,’' Sara Beth Brooks, an El Cajon bookkeeper who recently founded the San Diego Equality Campaign, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re your neighbors, your family, your friends. We’re everybody. We hope this kind of economic stand will prove a point.’'

The San Diego Equality Campaign was formed after the general election to create a speakers bureau of volunteers who can travel to public meetings in communities where Proposition 8 passed handily.

In lieu of work or shopping, Day Without a Gay participants will spend their time volunteering somewhere, according to the Union-Tribune.

Organizers told the newspaper that they do not know for sure how many people will participate in Wednesday’s boycott.

Word of the boycott has been spread using the social networking site Facebook. As of Monday afternoon, more than 143,000 Facebook users nationwide had indicated they they would be participating and an additional 84,000 listed themselves as “maybe.’'