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Colorado Prepares for "Day Without a Gay"

December 8, 2008

Colorado Springs - This Wednesday will be "Day Without a Gay" in Colorado. GLBT Coloradans will be "calling in gay" at work, and instead volunteering their time to give back to the larger community.

Ryan Acker with the GLBT Community Center of Colorado in Colorado Springs explains that the idea isn't to punish or protest employers, but rather to raise awareness and take a day to give back to the community.

"It's really about reinforcing the importance of LGBT people having equal rights, and also the positive contributions that our community does make."

Acker describes the day as part of a nationwide movement that started in response to the passage of a gay marriage ban in California last month.

Carlos Martinez with the GLBT Community Center of Colorado in Denver says part of the message behind "Day without a Gay" is about inclusiveness.

"We do not discriminate against anyone or try to push any of our ideas; really we're about one loving community."

Martinez says roughly seven percent of Colorado's population is LGBT--more than 300,000 people. Without them, even just for a day, the state would likely feel the impact, he adds, "...economically, with respect to productivity at the workplace. And a lot of them are educators. The impact will be quite large."

The GLBT Community Center in Denver, Boulder Pride in Boulder, Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center in Colorado Springs and the Lambda Center in Fort Collins will be holding food drives. Other GLBT Coloradans will be volunteering for charities and local human rights groups. Wednesday is also International Human Rights Day.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO