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Posted: Thursday, 11 December 2008 9:58AM - WBBM 780 - LINK

Hundreds Seek Marriage Licenses On 'Call In Gay Day'

John Cody Reporting

CHICAGO (WBBM/AP) - Some 300 men and women used "Call In Gay Day" to seek marriage licenses from David Orr, the Clerk of Cook County, on Wednesday.

The daylong work stoppage during which employees were encouraged to "call in gay" to express support for same-sex marriage drew spotty participation nationwide, with some gay rights activists praising the concept but questioning its effect.

Organizer Andy Thayer is a co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network. He tells Newsradio 780 the point of "Call In Gay Day" was to show by example how little work gets done if gays aren't around.

Thayer said County Clerk Orr was not in his office and so didn't hand out any same sex marriage licenses but said he felt it was still a useful visit and a good alternative to work for those who phoned their offices on "Call In Gay Day."

Applauding the idea of "Call In Gay Day" is Rick Garcia, public policy director of Equality Illinois. He said it's important to show show explicitly just now crucial gays are to the Chicago economy.

But he also noted economic times are tough and said some gays just could not afford to take off work just to make a point about their sexual orientation.

He said there are alternatives to "Call In Gay Day" which would include refusing to accept second class treatment from anyone because of sexual orientation, and doing the hard, tedious work of pushing through legislation to allow gays to join everyone else in enjoying the right to get married and have all the other benefits that accrue to heterosexual couples.


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