Tawny Gonzales says it was slower than usual at her Hillcrest hair salon. Gonzales says she wanted to support the "Day Without a Gay" boycott but she had to open the store she manages. "So I couldn't be out there supporting because then I'm losing money, the salon's losing money cause I'm not opening," said Gonzales.
Stylist Ava Moreno said she also supports the idea but forgot it was actually today. "Like people need to realize how much we impact the community and how much we really are part of it," said Moreno.
But measuring the impact of a nationwide boycott like this is almost impossible said University of San Diego economist Alan Gin. "Retail sales numbers are difficult to come by on a day-to-day basis," said Gin.
The boycott was called to help sustain a grass-roots protest movement that began after the November 4 passage of Proposition 8 which only acknowledges marriage between a man and a woman. According to the "Day without a Gay" website, supporters are "encouraged not to call in sick to work. You are encourage to call in gay."
Hillcrest has a large gay population and it appeared that most stores and restaurant remained open. This could be a difficult time to ask anyone to stay away from their jobs according the San Diego State Marketing Professor George Belch. "I don't think that the goal is to wreck economic havoc as much as it is to draw attention to the issue."
But Professor Belch says a poor showing could actually hurt protest organizers. "If it gets called for and you don't get that many people participating ... it does lose a little bit of credibility," said Belch.