Gay-ins at McGinley’s

Outside McGinley's Pub
Brendan Joel Kelley at the Anchorage Press reports on last Friday’s goings-on at McGinley’s — about which I wrote at the time.  Brendan mentions Michael Mason’s conversation with managing partner Jack Lewis:

According to Mason, he plans on returning to talk to Lewis and bringing him a statement much like the one Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) signed in support of the ordinance, to see if he can convince McGinley’s to join the businesses who support the equal rights ordinance…

— a result that Brendan considers a long shot.  Yep, me too.

But is boycotting McGinley’s a useful tactic?  For me, McGinley’s association with Mayor George Sullivan — whose mere 10 percent interest in the business earned him $24, 813 last year, according to his filings with APOC — is enough to keep me from adding regular visits to McGinley’s to my Saturday writing routine, as I had one time considered.  I’d rather patronize an LGBT-friendly business like Side Street Espresso (my normal Saturday writing venue) or Kaladi Brothers.  Both places have pretty good soup, too.

(And both have (gasp!) unisex bathrooms!  Better warn Debbie Ossiander!)

But there’s another way to respond to McGinley’s too, as Brendan explains:

Others have taken a different tack with McGinley’s Pub though, staging “gay-ins” during peak business hours where they gather and spend as little money as possible. Someone’s even printed up “McGinley’s Gay Pub” stickers that look like the bar’s logo.

“The strategy of picketing is too angry,” one of the “gay-in” participants wrote to Flashlight, on condition of anonymity. “It doesn’t show the best side of what the LGBT and their supporters bring to the community. Boycotting does exactly what the scumbag Jerry Prevo wants. It creates a place where there is no visible LGBT presence. Demanding an equal place at the table is by far the most effective way to achieve equality, and in a small way, this action is a step in that direction.”

… Mason disagrees with the tactics of those staging the gay-ins at McGinley’s, and he’s holding out hope that McGinley’s will sign on as an ally of those who support the gay rights ordinance. Flashlight thinks that’s a long shot, but considering the unlikelihood of a veto override, we’re not surprised that proponents of the equal rights ordinance are getting creative.

Creative indeed. That’s the gay way!  Maybe some of our creative nongay allies are taking part too.

P.S. The unisex bathrooms at Side Street & Kaladi’s are single user bathrooms.  But still — pretty scary, don’tcha think?  Just like one of those horrible unisex bathrooms in almost everyone’s home!


  1. 8/26/09. “The battle for McGinley’s” by Brendan Joel Kelley (Anchorage Press).
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