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You're Welcome... Uh, not Anymore!

By Benjy Lipsman in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 21, 2005 7:17PM

2004_08_19.gaygames.gifChicagoist has previously covered the Illinois Family Institute's attempts at coercing sponsors of the Gay Games VII -- which will be held in Chicago July 15-22, 2006 -- to back out of the event. While companies like Kraft and Harris Bank have yet to withdraw their support for the games, the same cannot be said for some local pols.

At the urging of the IFI, the five Republican Cook County commissioners have now asked to have their names removed from the formerly unanimous proclamation welcoming the Gay Games. Those spineless five are: Elizabeth Ann Doody Gorman, Gregg Goslin, Carl R. Hansen, Anthony J. Peraica and Peter N. Silvestri. Peraica went so far as to claim, "I must have been out of the room" when the proclamation was voted on! Uh, yeah we're buying that one.

The IFI's Peter LaBarbera said, "There's a big difference between tolerating and celebrating homosexuality. For governments to be using taxpayer money and big corporations spending money to sponsor this, we think the average Joe sees that as being just a little bit off." However, the proclamation is strictly ceremonial and offers no financial sponsorship by the city or county. The games aren't "celebrating homosexuality" as much as they're celebrating sportsmanship, competition and community. And you'd think that, regardless of their political views, county commissioners could be more than just tolerant of the 12,000 people who will pump an anticipated $50-80 million into the local economy during the event.