Oak Park Issues Pro-Gay Games Proclamation

Sat. March 25, 2006 12:00 AM by GayWebMonkey.com

Chicago, IL - The Village of Oak Park, Illinois, newly named as host to three Gay Games sports competitions, has issued a proclamation welcoming the 2006 Gay Games to the Chicagoland Area.

The 500-word proclamation notes the positive economic impact of the Gay Games and makes special emphasis on the role diversity plays in Oak Park. Quoting from the Village's Diversity Statement, the proclamation reads in part, "The people of Oak Park choose this community, not just as a place to live, but as a way of life... Ours is a dynamic community that encourages the contributions of all citizens, regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, economic status, political affiliation or any of the other distinguishing characteristics that all too often divide people in society."

The Village of Oak Park will host the Gay Games badminton competition as well as all preliminary rounds in soccer. It will share tennis competition with sites on Chicago’s lakefront and at Evanston’s Northwestern University. Badminton, Soccer and Tennis will take place at Oak Park/River Forest High School athletic facilities. A total of 30 sports will be featured at the Gay Games with competition also taking place in Chicago, Evanston and Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Bordering Chicago, Oak Park is one of just three Chicago suburbs that are connected to the city via the world-famous "El," Chicago’s light rail system that becomes the subway downtown. The community is perhaps best known for its Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District. With 25 buildings designed by the world-famous architect, it is the largest concentration of his work anywhere. Special Gay Games Frank Lloyd Wright tours are already available for booking online.

Oak Park has a long history of being welcoming to its LGBT citizens and was one of the first Illinois communities to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 1997 the Village of Oak Park elected Joanne Trapani to the Village Board, the first open lesbian official elected to office in Illinois and in 2001 the voters elected her as Village Board President. In 2003 the Oak Park voters elected Ray Johnson as the first openly gay male Trustee for the Village of Oak Park.

The proclamation was adopted unanimously at the February 6, 2006, meeting of the Village Board of Trustees.

Article provided in partnership with GayWebMonkey.com.