10 December, 2008

Does it really work?

Remember a couple of years ago, in a move for solidarity, Hispanic community leaders called for a call in day. They asked for all Latinos, regardless of legal status or citizenship to call in from work on the same day.

The goal was to show how many Latinos there are, and how big of an impact they have on the economy.

The place that I was working at the time (a call center) employed a large group of people from Puerto Rico, Mexico and other Latin countries. As best as I could tell, they all disregarded the irresponsible call to skip work. Many of them were in a Spanish language queue, and primarily spoke with other Latinos. They took calls from upset callers because they went to work on the 'Lets not go to work today' day.

Well, it seems that today is another sort of "We'll show them how many of us there are" days. Today is 'Call in Gay' day. It seems that the leaders of Gay and lesbian community have called for a form of protest.

What do they expect will come of such an action (or inaction)? I think that it will cause more damage than good to their cause. There are far fewer gays than they would like us to think there are. According to a report, between 4 and 5% of Americans admit to being gay. In another report, the number is 1.3%.

Even if everyone who chooses that lifestyle called into work today, how many people would be missing from the workforce today? 5 out of 100? Is that going to cause a wave? Sure, in some cases it may cause an inconvenience to employers and customers, but in most places, it would be less than a ripple. Although, I imagine it would be tough to get your hair styled in San Francisco today.

I don't think that it will cause any broad changes in public perception, but I think the more likely change in attitude will be that there are less of them than the noise they make, and that less accommodations will be made for them. Even in California, when it was put to a public vote, more than 52% of voters supported the proposition to formally define marriage as a union of a man and a women. This is the 2nd time that it was put to a public vote in California, with the same end result.

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