A new form of protest, labelled ‘Day Without a Gay’, is set to take place in the US today in reaction to anti-gay measures passed in a number of states.

The concept is for gay and lesbian people to skip work for one day – not by calling in sick but by “calling in gay” – in order to emphasise their importance to the economy.

The protest takes place on Wednesday 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day.

The organisers have urged people who don’t go to work to not simply take the day off, but to rather contribute their time to a worthwhile charity or cause.

A number of critics of the protest have pointed out that people in some states that do not have labour protection for LGBT people could be fired if they come out as gay to homophobic employers.

The initiative was launched after citizens of a number of states in the US recently voted to bar same-sex marriage and in one case same-sex adoption.

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