Republican Commissioners Reverse Support for Gay Games

Thu. July 21, 2005 12:00 AM

Under fire from conservatives, Republicans pull support for Sports and Cultural Festival

Chicago, IL - Five Republican Cook County Commissioners are pulling their names from a proclamation welcoming the 2006 Gay Games.

The proclamation, unanimously approved last month by the 17 member Cook County board, welcomes the weeklong Sports and Cultural Festival to Chicago, but is ceremonial only and has no impact on whether the Games go foward.

The Illinois Family Institute, an ultra-conservative religious group, is urging Democratic commissioners to join Republicans Gregg Goslin, Liz Gorman, Carl Hansen, Tony Peraica and Peter Silvestri in flipping their support, saying government shouldn't celebrate homosexuality. The IFI has also been critical of corporate sponsors of the Gay Games.

Gay Games spokeswoman Tracy Baim says she's not surprised by the commissioners' move and that she was more surprised when the commissioners voted for it in the first place.

Its estimated the Gay Games could pump 50 to 80 (m) million dollars into Chicago's economy.