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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay Games IX lawsuit may be over
Posted July 25, 2011
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2011-07-27

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A settlement has been reached in dueling lawsuits over who has the rights to stage Gay Games IX in 2014, scheduled to be held in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio.

Kurt Dahl, a Chicagoan who is co-president of the Federation of Gay Games ( FGG ) , announced late Monday that, though all parties have not yet officially signed off on all of the paperwork, nor has a judge signed the agreement, it has been settled. He said all paperwork should be signed by the end of the week.

"I cannot discuss the outcome [ of the settlement ] . The settlement is confidential; it cannot discussed," Dahl said in a phone interview with Windy City Times. "Everything will be dismissed."

The Cleveland Synergy Foundation won the right to host the Gay Games in 2014 over bidding groups from Boston and Washington, D.C. Last year's gay Games were in Cologne, Germany, and 2006 the Gay Games were held in Chicago.

The FGG terminated CSF's license in July 2010, as reported by the Bay Area Reporter's Roger Brigham, citing CSF's failure to submit required information in a timely fashion. In September, CSF sued the FGG, the city of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Sports Foundation, and Valarie McCall of the mayor's office to retain the rights to stage the event. FGG named the Cleveland Special Events Corporation as the new host. Thomas Nobbe was named executive director of CSE in May, BAR reported

The trial was scheduled to start this month amid allegations, raised by CSF, of homophobic behavior and comments by members of the Cleveland Special Events Corporation.

Dahl said discussions to settle the lawsuits have been ongoing for the past couple months. "I expected that we were going to come to some sort of agreement at some point; at least I was hopeful of that. Now we're focused on Cleveland Special Events; that's what we're focusing on now."

Next up for the 2014 Games is opening registration, which will begin in 2012, Dahl said.

"I am happy to hear legal issues have been resolved," said Chicagoan Kevin Boyer. "Cleveland has a lot of work to do to get ready for Gay Games IX and now they can focus on the key early challenges around fundraising and visibility."

There have been numerous reports and/or rumors throughout the year that the CSF was going to stage its own multi-sport LGBT event in the Cleveland area in 2014, but that will not happen. "I wouldn't even want to comment about that," Dahl said.

Dahl said representatives from the Cleveland Special Events Corporation likely will be in Chicago next month to attend the 35th annual Gay Softball World Series—to promote the 2014 Games, "because softball is a big part of the Gay Games."

Dahl will attend the Series.

"It's very important to say that the accusations of homophobia in the straight people that are taking up some of the leadership roles with the host organization are exaggerated and misguided," Robby Davis, the FGG officer of development who has helped oversee Cleveland operations, told the Bay Area Reporter. "I have not encountered any disrespect or disregard for LGBT people or blatant homophobia. I see the folks we are working here whether they are out or not to be the most incredible allies. They are so proud that Akron and Cleveland are going to be hosts of these Games."

See BAR's original article here:

ebar.com/blogs/


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