"Day Without a Gay" Had Little Impact in Phoenix or Anywhere Else

The Wednesday work stoppage planned by gay rights advocates to protest the ban on same-sex marriage in California (and Arizona, we presume) went unnoticed by some of the Valley's largest employers.

Nationally -- even in San Francisco's famously gay Castro District -- few called in sick to work, according to an Associated Press story from Wednesday night.

New Times called the Scottsdale Resort and Spa and the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, but managers there say if anyone did boycott work this week, it would be difficult to tell. Certainly, they say, there was no disruption of resort operations.  

Officials at the city of Phoenix and Arizona State University also say the protest had no discernible effect.

It didn't help that there's a recession on, of course.

Like the "Great American Boycott" by illegal immigrants two years ago that wasn't so great, the lack of a direct impact doesn't mean total failure. The promotional value of the event will last much longer than a day.

For one thing, to "call in gay," seems to have become a near-household phrase in just a week -- though not necessarily in the way activists intended. Quipped Jay Leno:

So, how does that work? When you call in gay to take the day off, do you have to prove it? Do you have to have a note from another gay guy? Does the note have to be signed and notarized by another gay person to make sure? 

But today, Senator Larry Craig called in not gay. Actually, he tapped the message in code with his foot.

"Calling in gay" has a nice ring to it -- it sounds like a more pleasant way to spend a workday, even if you're not gay. Like taking a mental health day, but with more flamboyancy and style.

Unfortunately, we had to work all week, too -- we'll have to try it some other time. -- Ray Stern