A City With Poor LGBT Rights Wants To Host The Gay Games. Is That The Right Thing To Do?

Should the Gay Games be held in a city where LGBT Rights are far behind other cities wishing to play?  Or should it be held in a metropolis where the monetary benefits would reward a city for its role in making the world a safer place for LGBT citizens?

With the mentality of the first option, do we look at Russia, Bangladesh, and Muslim nations?  Or do we look at nations where athletes may not have to fear for their lives while going for the gold?

As Hong Kong eyes up hosting the 2022 “gay Olympics”, the international federation behind the global sports event says it could ultimately choose the Asian city in a bid to shine a light on its poor same-sex rights record.

Hong Kong was listed this week as one of 17 other cities in the running to host the Gay Games, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Tel Aviv and Cape Town – but the territory could be the first and only Asian city to be nominated to host the competition.

The Gay Games was first hosted by San Francisco in 1982 and since then has gone on to become the largest international sport and cultural gathering for athletes, musicians and artists.

The 2014 games was hosted in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring 10,000 athletes from 60 countries and 37 sports. The next hosts in 2018 will be Paris.

Speaking to the Sunday Morning Post, Leviathen Hendricks, a board member and the international development officer for the Federation of Gay Games, said: “There is certainly an argument, often conjecture about why a particular city has won the bid to host in the past, and some cities have made that argument before “the Gay Games needs to come here because we need to improve LGBT rights in that area” so that could be an element of someone’s decision to vote for a particular host, to make a real human rights change in that area.”

LGBTI sports organisation Out in HK is leading the bid for Hong Kong 2022. Since its founding in 2014, it has organised more than 230 events, and is making the big leap undertaking a bid to organise a major sports event.

”Hosting the games in Hong Kong will make change because the guy in Starbucks or the taxi driver will have a completely different awareness of the LGBT people,” Dennis Philipse, founder of Out in HK, told the Post. “In its 40th anniversary, it is time to take the Gay Games back to its founding aims by planting a flag in fresh fields, where the promotion of its principles can have the greatest effect.”

Out in HK promotes the city as a bidding team ready to host with the unrivalled transport infrastructure, wide range of sport facilities, entertainment venues and huge accommodation capacity that will ensure a smooth and efficient experience for participants and visitors.

With government backing and funding from the private sector, the LGBT sports group hopes to hold the opening ceremony at the Hong Kong Stadium.

One study of the economic impact of the Cleveland Games found a boost to the economy to the tune of US$52 million (HK$400 million).

The Federation will select the 2022 host in October 2017. – scmp.com

What are your thoughts? Are there nations we should avoid and are there nations we should honor by giving them the right to host the Gay Games?

h/t:  South China Morning Post.com


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