Page last updated at 23:32 GMT, Wednesday, 10 December 2008

'Day without a gay' protest in US

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Rallies were planned in San Francisco and other cities

Campaigners have urged US homosexuals to stay away from work for a day in protest at recent bans on gay marriage in some states including California.

They were asked to "call in gay" and do community work for a day instead, and also to avoid shopping in order to show gay people's economic clout.

It was unclear how many people actually skipped work but organisers said they had boosted the profile of gay people.

Connecticut and Massachusetts are the only states to allow gay marriage.

In another development, a commission in New Jersey recommended that the state should allow same-sex couples to marry rather than just enter into civil unions.

The state commission argued that same-sex couples could not achieve equality with heterosexual couples if their legal status was restricted to civil unions.


Shopkeepers in the Castro, the heart of San Francisco's large gay community, said it was mostly business as usual on a chilly Wednesday morning, AFP news agency reports.

"It seems to be about the same - the cold weather has brought about a little bit of slowness on the streets but it's mostly normal," said Don Forfang, a barber at Louie's Barber Shop.

California legalised gay marriage in May but 52% of voters backed a move to ban it in a referendum on 4 November.

Florida and Arizona also approved bans on gay marriage.

Sean Hetherington, the Los Angeles campaigner behind Wednesday's protest, said the idea was to raise awareness of gay anger at the ban, referred to in California as Proposition 8.

"We think the reason why Prop 8 passed is because there wasn't enough visibility," he added.

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San Mateo Daily Journal 'Day Without a Gay' participation spotty - 4 hrs ago
China Post State panel says New Jersey should allow gay marriage - 8 hrs ago
Times Record Same-sex marriage bill unlikely? - 10 hrs ago
Daily Breeze Few choose to `call in gay' - 18 hrs ago

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