Boycott For Equality is calling for a national boycott today to
draw political attention to equality in marriage and the workplace
for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.
“This event brings into focus the economic contribution of gay,
lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens,” said Dale Duncan,
co-founder of Boycott For Equality. “And people understand
Boycott For Equality is recommending GLBT Americans and their
supporters withdrawal from the economy in four ways.
They encourage staying home from work in an effort to stop the
generation of payroll and income taxes. They also are urging
citizens to refrain from shopping and cell phone use to demonstrate
the presence of the GLBT community and to withdrawal $80 from an
ATM in an attempt to exhaust the funds at many ATMs.
“I would hope that (the boycott) would have an impact, but I
don’t know that it will reach the people it needs to reach,” said
Randy McCrillis, GLBT director at CSU. “People that are already
enlightened know about it, but looking at what major political
officials have already stated about marriage rights. I don’t think
it will do anything.”
GLBT Student Services, located in Lory Student Center, provides
services for 7,000 students, staff and community members, McCrillis
Boycott For Equality is an Atlanta-based, non-profit
organization formed to promote the boycott. The organization is
aimed at bringing political attention to the issues in the GLBT
community by demonstrating the financial contributions of the GLBT
to the national economy.
According to Robert Lawrence, professor of political science at
CSU, and Roy Meek, professor of political science at University of
Alabama, who is visiting CSU, this type of political protest can
have a negative effect.
“Whenever you do something like this there is always the
possibility of backlash,” Lawrence said. “I think quietly
negotiating with big corporations is a better way to achieve
Meek echoed Lawrence’s views.
“Any action of this sort tends to focus attention on that
group,” Meek said. “Thereby, people who have negative views of a
group can intensify.”
John Straayer, a professor of political science at CSU, agreed
that events such as boycotting can create a negative environment,
but added that this can create a base for social change.
“If this type of strategy does in fact translate into some
expanded public support for them, candidates and parties will begin
to recognize that and it will begin to work its way into the
platform,” said Straayer. “This activity alone won’t gain political
attention, but that kind of act repeated and repeated can
precipitate a shift in public opinion and that’s when the parties
will pick it up.”
The success or failure of this boycott greatly depends on
participation according to Steven Shulman, CSU professor of
“It will depend on how many people are in this group, then, of
that, what percent will participate in this boycott,” Shulman said.
“Then will anyone even notice?”
Shulman also noted that for a group to be noticed on an economic
basis, they generally need to conduct a lengthy event that will
affect a greater number of people.
“It’s a very important issue. I don’t think it is important to
the political spectrum currently,” said Dustin Blair, a sophomore
English major. “I think a boycott is a very powerful tool and if
used in the right way, it could work.”