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Good News for Gay Games

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 10, 2006 8:12PM

This summer’s Gay Games 2006 in Chicago got some good news this week in the form of an approved federal blanket waiver allowing non-U.S. citizens with HIV/AIDS to travel the United States and participate in or attend the event. Gay Games VII Sports & Cultural Festival will be held at various city venues from July 15 to 22.

games.gifThe waiver gives the games Designated Event Status and allows HIV-positive participants and attendees to apply for a single-entry B-2 travel visa from a U.S. consulate, according to Chicago Games, Inc. (CGI) and the international Federation of Gay Games (FGG).

"Many people with HIV/AIDS and other life-affecting health issues have competed and set Masters-division records at past Gay Games, and we are happy that all participants from outside the United States once again will be able to travel freely to attend the Gay Games this summer," said Kathleen Webster, FGG co-president.

Despite last year's efforts by spineless Cook County Commissioners and a million cranky moms, CGI says it is on track, ending 2005 with $650,000 in the bank and 150 corporate sponsors, reports the Chicago Free Press. The games now have more than 8,000 registered participants from more than 30 countries, and CGI expects to reach at least 12,000 by July.

Watch for tickets to the opening ceremonies at Soldier Field and closing ceremonies at Wrigley Field to go on sale online in the next month.

Thanks, Joanna!