The quest to host the 2014 Gay Games in
Cleveland has begun in earnest, and its bid revolves around the Rock
The games' official site selection
committee is expected to arrive in Cleveland before making its way
to Boston and Washington D.C. later this summer.
In Cleveland, organizers are hoping the
high-visibility of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will
give them the edge in attracting the Olympic-style sporting event
estimated to be worth $60 million in economic impact.
Behind the city's bid is The
Cleveland Synergy Foundation, which is planning a community party
on Friday, July 31 on the plaza of the Rock Hall. The party, called
“Frivolity,” is a free event designed to boost support for the
city's bid with musical acts, including the North
Coast Men's Chorus, Cleveland's highly-acclaimed gay chorus.
The bid's theme, My Games Rock!, also
borrows from Cleveland's steeped history in Rock and Roll, and the
Rock Hall has officially backed the bid.
But the competition to host up to
12,000 athletes competing in 28 sporting events and 100,000
spectators in the summer of 2014 is certain to get heated before the
Boston, with its rich sports traditions
and legal gay marriage, is the presumed city to beat. The District
of Columbia offers huge outdoor venues and a new ordinance recognizes
gay marriages performed elsewhere. City leaders say they are
committed to legalizing gay marriage in the city, possibly as early
as the fall.
Cleveland is the only bidding city with
a state constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage, putting it
at something of a disadvantage. (The city's domestic
partnership registry for gay, lesbian and straight couples that
opened in the spring has faced strong opposition from a group of
anti-gay rights ministers despite offering no guaranteed benefits
Gay Games officials, however, say their
decision – likely to be announced in September 2010 – is not only
about selecting the gay friendliest city.
“If we only choose the gayest cities
in the United States, we've made a mistake,” Kelly Stevens, a board
member in charge of communications for the Federation of Gay Games,
“Certainly because Cleveland is
smaller, it probably has less of a global reputation in general,”
Federation of Gay Games spokesman Kevin Boyer told Cleveland daily
The Plain Dealer.
“But I've been very impressed with
the efforts of the local organization,” he added.
Cologne, Germany is the host city of
the 2010 Gay Games.