The Future of LGBT Sports

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Merger Debate

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This page is devoted to the concept raised by some for a “merger” of the Gay Games and the World Outgames. The initial posting for this has been received by Roberto Mantaci of Paris, a former co-president of the Federation of Gay Games.


by Roberto Mantaci

I think that measures of success of an event are subjective and obviously some elements of success can be found for ANY event.

The fact that WOG2 had participation figures that some consider satisfactory, perhaps make them a successful event from some people’s perspective. However, the WOG certainly will never make a “success” in the overall history of the LGBT sports movement, where they will remain a sad note of separation and division.

In addition, I am skeptical regarding the concept (as I understand it from Uffe of WOG2) that, if by Copenhagen’s own measures, WOG2 was a successful event, that means that there is a need for it.

Even if there were such a “need”, which has to be proved, a EuroGames would have fulfilled it.

Even less logical seems the implication that, if WOG2 can be considered successful by some standards, then GLISA has something to bring to the table of a possible “merging”.

In business, two companies A and B merge when each of them brings something that the other does not have already. The mere fact that one product of company B was able to attract a share of the market (in fact taking that from the share of products of companies A and C) does not mean that B has something to offer to A.

GLISA as an organization has not much to offer that the FGG as an organization does not have already in terms of history, legacy, experience, expertise, savoir faire, and even a fair list of mistakes that have been integrated as parts of a learning process.

Created as antithesis and a nemesis of the FGG, GLISA has become more and more similar to a paler version of the FGG and hence, to justify the reason of their being, has the dilemma to constantly come up with something to differentiate itself from Gay Games.

The latest is GLISA’s proposal of an event that includes three full- fledged components of sports, culture and human rights. As I understand it, all these components should be organized and funded by the event’s host and all would require a basically identical registration fee from the participants. GLISA even uses for the first time the word “model” when they speak about this (previously, the model seemed to be “there’s no model for the WOG”).

These are however some serious issues I see behind such a model and reasons why I think it would not be wise for the Gay Games to adopt it.

1. Reasons of the inclusion of the human right conference at the WOG are rooted into M2006’s desire to produce a very large multifaceted festival attracting the largest possible number or participants. The Gay Games community, after long and serious reflection, has determined to discourage Gay Games hosts from this approach (see “The Image of the Gay Games” white paper).

2. It is a misconception a bit outdated by now, that if you do not have something explicitely labeled “human rights” then you are not being defending human rights. And I can’t help seeing a part of victim syndrome in that misconception. Just by standing up as openly gay athletes we tear down many stereotypes and make societal changes that lead to progress in the field of human rights.

3. Exactly like the sports component of WOG is a duplication of the Gay Games, the human rights component is a duplication of what several LGBT organizations already do and could do in the field of human rights : HRC, ILGA, GLAF, PFLAG…. The resources in the LGBT community are only so many, and the pink market is only so big. Having a Games host producing a conference of its own is another unnecessary duplication, while a superior result could be accomplished in synergy with those organizations.

4. With a participation fee that applies similarly to all three components of the event, athletic participants basically end up paying for a good part of the conference and more of what the would pay for an athletic experience of equal quality. WOG2 sport registrants could have enjoyed an athletic event of similar size, the EuroGames, for about 1/3 of the registration price of the WOG.

5. It is too much to expect that a Games host bears the burden — in terms of money and other resources — to produce other things in addition to: a properly run sports festival of about 30sports/10,000 participants; the mandatory cultural components of the Gay Games; an Opening ceremony and a Closing event (two large events of their own).

This is also what was identified as one of the main factors for the deficits of some past Gay Games.

FGG Co-President Susan Kennedy, one of those women anyone feels lucky to have met in their lives, used to say : “The definition of craziness is doing exactly the same thing over and over again and expect a different result”. Nothing to add.

6. As far as I know, Gay Games participants have never expressed the desire of a full-fledged human rights component at the Gay Games. To start with, the following statistics would be interesting. How many SPORTS participants of WOG2 took part in some way in activities related to the human rights conference? How many sports participants would NOT have attended WOG2 if they did not offer a human rights conference?

An asset or a can of worm that GLISA brings to the “merging” table ?

Perhaps the point is that “merging” is the wrong word.

I think Uffe and I can certainly agree that there are INDIVIDUALS involved with GLISA and the WOG who can bring a lot to the table of LGBT sports. I am pretty sure that is true, although for several of these individuals we do not know precisely the past involvement for the LGBT sports movement. But certainly, what several of them have done and do, would have been better directed towards building up a united LGBT sports movement.

I think that those who have knowledge and services to offer to the global LGBT sports movement should immediately join the FGG, where they would be most welcome as they would always have been. There are many ways to do so, at several levels of the structure of the organization, either individually or via one’s respective organization.

None of the individuals involved with GLISA or the WOG could claim that the doors of the FGG have been closed to them, or that they “left” the FGG. That is why “reunite” or “come together again” do not make much more sense than “merging”.

Human rights are the perfect example where some of these individuals could get involved and serve the movement. ILGA is one of the main, if not THE main, LGBT human rights organization. They organize this kind of events. FGG is a member of ILGA and as such will have a seat at the ILGA table.

There is a perfect opportunity for someone really committed to the best of LGBT sports and to having a human right component at the Gay Games, to establish a mutually profitable partnership with ILGA and ideally have an event jointly sponsored by ILGA, FGG and the GG-Host, during the Gay Games of Cologne and in the future. That would be an optimization of global LGBT resources creating synergy, versus a situation of mutual competition.

Yes, that requires a lot of work, but that’s also how the FGG has become what is today, through countless hours of volunteer work.

I am sure that a lot of people would support that kind of merging into a united Gay Games movement.

Roberto Mantaci, former Co-President of the Federation of Gay Games, 2001-2006, Honorary Life Member of the Federation of Gay Games


Written by lgbtsportsfuture

18/08/2009 at 20:46

27 Responses

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  1. With regards to recent international discussion regarding the future of the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association, the World Outgames, and the relationship between the Federation of Gay Games and GLISA, GLISA International would like to share the following information.

    Questions have arisen regarding the distinctions between the work of GLISA International and the FGG. The distinctive work of GLISA can be described in terms of ‘four pillars’:

    The first pillar is GLISA’s mandate to nurture and grow LGBT sport world-wide, year in and year out, through outreach, member services and the sharing of knowledge and best practices among member organizations.
    The second pillar of GLISA is partnership with mainstream sport, human rights and cultural organizations that share our mission to make all places safe for LGBT athletes to play sport.
    The third pillar of GLISA is the delivery of games. These include world Outgames every four years and continental Outgames in intervening years.
    The fourth pillar of GLISA is the professionalization of the LGBT sport movement. GLISA is committed to legacy in the form of transfer of knowledge, innovation in the delivery of services, and professionalism in the implementation of marketing and sponsorship strategies.

    Regarding the future of dialogue between GLISA International and the Federation of Gay Games:

    GLISA International has received input from our membership expressing a variety of opinions about the future of global LGBT sport/culture/human rights events. We have received input via a survey distributed to our membership, via direct communication from several GLISA members (Team Berlin, European Same Sex Dancing Association, etc), via participation in a workshop facilitated by the Federation of Gay Games at the World Outgames in Copenhagen, and in several other forums. While the range of opinions has been broad, the most common opinion expressed to GLISA International is the desire of the LGBT sporting community to have one global quadrennial event designed to serve the LGBT community worldwide. Our members have expressed a strong desire to see this event include sports, cultural and human rights elements on equal footing and to support the growth of LGBT sport, culture, and human rights events on the continental level in intervening years. To this end, our members have asked GLISA International to engage in a dialogue with the Federation of Gay Games to explore options that will meet these objectives. The first of these talks will take place in Brussels on August 29th, 2009. GLISA International is committed to transparency and to responding in the best way possible to the desires of our members. GLISA International is therefore open to engaging in a dialogue with the Federation of Gay Games about the future of quadrennial LGBT games.

    Please direct questions to Julia Applegate ( or Wessel van Kampen (


    19/08/2009 at 17:01

    • Hello Julia,

      it is good to have finally someone from GLISA willing to participate in the debate.

      I think you should show us some facts, not fluff. You are not talking to uneducated journalists or to some of your members who are unaware of past history so that you can easily impress them with words.

      Re-read your “four pillars”. Can you indicate anything in there that FGG does not do or does not have already, except the continental events? I suspect you will not be able to find a single one, because every single word of that stuff applies to the FGG (or else, you do not know the FGG as you should).

      If you want to show us some distinctions between GLISA and the FGG, then you have to come up with something better than some nice but hollow words formulated by the spin doctors of Montréal 2006.

      Roberto Mantaci,
      Former FGG Co-President 2001-2006
      Honorary Life Member FGG


      20/08/2009 at 07:38

  2. Julia,

    Always good to write with a fellow Buckeye.

    I will leave comments on the survey to other sports folk who were involved when a much larger number of athletes were surveyed following the 2002 Gay Games in Sydney, other than to observe that overall those athletes overwhelmingly favored the balance of sports, culture, conferences and parties that the Gay Games were already offering.

    I would ask you, why is it that you posit that having conferences are a necessary component for a global quadrennial LGBT multi-sport event (for shorthand, I shall refer to this as a ‘Games’) and why must that component occupy fully one third of the mission?

    I believe that advancing and advocating for human rights is a valuable component of a Games, but I also believe that the very act of athletically competing in those very same Games. I think it is demeans LGBT sports to suggest that sports cannot serve as a value component of the LGBT rights movement in and of themselves.

    With their proven formula of a sports-centric Games, the Gay Games have empowered a generation of LGBT athletes, demonstrate to mainstream sports organizations the need for and humanity of having drug-testing policies and gender inclusion policies that are sensitive to the needs of HIV-infected individuals and transgender athletes, create opportunities for those athletes as well as seniors and the disabled, successfully lobbied to create more inclusive governmental travel visa policies, and are ever increasing their athletic outreach to politically and culturally repressed areas.

    The Gay Games are able to do this because they have concentrated on doing sports and doing them right. There are heavy demands on the finite resources for the LGBT global community; a Games can contribute best by specializing and emphasizing sports, which no other body does, and avoiding as much as possible duplication of other kinds of organizations.

    I would posit that the experience shows that in shouldering the expenses of an equal portion of conferences, culture and sports, a Games becomes too expensive for the more marginalized athletes to compete in and therefore diminishes the overall value of the event and impact of the mission. Perhaps it would be sustainable for a smaller number of more affluent adherents that would make the event lucrative for tourism industry members, but as much as I love business I think our primary focus should be on the athletes who want to compete with their comrades from across the globe in the sports of their choice and not be priced out of the marketplace. We’d rather have an affordable chance at competition and conversation than an unaffordable conference and lesser competition.

    Of course, ALL of these issues have ALWAYS been up for discussion and decisions with the Gay Games; the policies currently in place were not forced on a membership by an autocratic board or created out of academic theory; they are the result of membership votes of the sports organizations that compose the Federation of Gay Games and reflect the expressed wishes of thousands of thousands of athletes and artists who make up the Gay Games. And that dialogue has always been and remains open to all LGBT sports and cultural organizations who wish to join in not just in the fun participation of the Gay Games, but the dedicated work it takes to put them on.

    Roger Brigham, chair of Wrestlers WithOut Borders

    Roger Brigham

    20/08/2009 at 04:50

  3. Before any meaningful exchange is to occur about a merger between the World Outgames and FGG shouldn’t we understand why the split occurred in the first place.
    It is my understanding that the split was caused by the FGG.
    Have those issues that caused the split been resolved?
    Is it feasible/sustainable now in a multicultural world gay context have an American gay cultural control a world gay LGBT event?

    Graham, in BC

    21/08/2009 at 21:47

    • Hello Graham,

      Your understanding is incorrect and your post shows confusion about the facts. This is understandable given the denigration campaign led by Montréal 2006 (M2006) in those years and the many hoaxes about the FGG that were circulated on internet then, especially by anonymous posters.

      When you say “the split was caused by the FGG”, are you speaking about the failure of the negotiations between Montréal and the FGG? Those negotiations were interrupted because Montréal left the table, as you can see that in an interview that M2006’ board member Mark Tewksbury gave to a media from your own country and province (BC, Canada, I guess), “Xtra!”. In that interview, published 27 November 2003, he admitted that “Montréal took its ball and walked away”.

      If instead you are speaking of the split caused by the creation of the OutGames as a new event in competition with the Gay Games, then obviously the FGG was not part of that, as perpetuating the OutGames after 2006, which has made the split permanent, was only a decision of Montréal 2006.

      That the FGG was “an American” organization is another hoax spread by Montréal 2006. Judge yourself from the data. In 2003, in addition to having an Italian Co-President living in France (me), the FGG had 24 director organizations in its Board. Of these organizations:

      Nine were city teams or national teams or not from the US :
      1. Equipe Montréal
      2. Equipe Paris
      3. SC Janus Cologne
      4. Swiss Gay & Lesbian Sports
      5. Team Berlin
      6. Team Johannesburg TOGS
      7. Team Sydney
      8. Team Toronto
      9. Team Vancouver

      Eight were international sports federations, not attached to any country by definition :
      1. Gay and Lesbian Rowing Federation
      2. International Association of Gay & Lesbian Martial Artists
      3. International Frontrunners
      4. International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics
      5. Int’l Gay & Lesbian Football Association
      6. Int’l Gay & Lesbian Ice Hockey Association
      7. International Gay Bowling Organization
      8. Wrestlers WithOut Borders

      One was an international organization entirely based outside the US :
      1. European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation

      Roberto Mantaci

      22/08/2009 at 06:08

      • Hi Roberto
        I thank you for your response two both my comments. I will address both in this one response.

        Yes you got me right I did mean “the split was caused by the FGG” whether “Montreal took its ball and walked away” as Tewksbury said. If the demands were as I understand that the FGG wanted sign-off control of the budget then yes FGG caused the split in my thinking and understanding of the situation. I am not referring to the creation of the OutGames.
        I get the impression from your statement “I personally think that the Canadian tax payers would have been more than happy if somebody, ANYBODY, had applied some supervision to the Montréal organizing committee.” that the FGG did want finial control. Is this true?

        In both of your statements you do not outright say that the FGG did insist on the finial say on the budget. By supervision do you mean control? If this is true it shows how the FGG was very parochial in its understanding of the Canadian political climate. It is in this behaviour that many see an American narrowness of experience.
        The black-balling stories was told to me by a member of a US westcoast track team that went to Chicago but out of the 600 who went to GG only a handful went on to Montreal. As for proof I did not get his name or address. As an American I did not see any reason to question his veracity and I have not been given any reason not to believe what I was told by him.

        Roberto, you use of upper case is redundant if you think that is an effective way of making a point please use facts.

        I am very willing to change my understanding and lessen my confusion, so please present the facts. I also realize that 2003 was a very tough year for Americans with the negativity caused by Bush so this could have coloured information.

        Graham, in BC

        22/08/2009 at 20:25

  4. The very word “split” presumes a great deal, and I see that Roberto Mantaci has responded to the historical aspects of that use. But this is not really the issue today, anyway, is it? Or if it is, it is only an issue for those who want to promote a policy of division and distrust.

    The FGG has done its very best to move forward to carry on its primary mission: to organize an international quadrennial sports and culture event and has actively sought input on the future of our events from stakeholders, while establishing a cordial dialog with all parties.

    In this light, is it really productive to continue to recite tired canards about “American cultural domination”? Is it necessary to recall that the very first city to host a Gay Games after the two editions in the founding city of San Francisco was Vancouver? That the Gay Games have since been held in Europe and in Australia, and that they will be returning to Europe next year?

    To speak of the FGG in this way is to demonstrate a great deal of ignorance about its current structure and status: the FGG has active members from North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia. Its board has members from the US, France, Germany, South Africa, and Australia.

    The demand of athletes and artists participating in our events is clear: they want one event. Rather than imagining reasons for attempts to reach this goal to fail, perhaps we would be better off imagining ways for it to succeed.


    22/08/2009 at 07:59

    • Hi marcnaimark
      Not sure if I understand your “The very word “split” presumes a great deal” could you please elaborate for me, thanks. I would disagree with your statement of “it” as an issue to only promote division and distrust.
      I am not sure I understand you when you refer to tired canards, please explain. I am all for imagining success.

      Graham, in BC

      22/08/2009 at 20:27

      • I believe Marc is referring that ‘split’ implies that something was whole and then divided. The members of M2006 were not members of the Federaion of Gay Games so there was no split; there was merely a failure to be able to negotiate an arrangement between two parties.

        And when two parties fail to reach an agreement, to say one was the cause of it is to defy the laws of physics, which inform us that all motions are relative.

        As to your repeated reference to American narrow-mindedness, parochialsim, cultural control … well, they are just offensive and I do not see the rationale for inserting bigoted toughts and words into this dialogue.


        23/08/2009 at 02:42

      • I think Roger did a good job on “split”. As to the canard, your post is short enough and my response detailed enough that you can probably identify it yourself.


        25/08/2009 at 07:20

  5. Hi Roger
    Please read what I write and not what you imagine I wrote. If there is a misunderstanding lets get to the bottom of it. That is why I have asked for clarification of a few things and one very important issue is the financial sign-off. Roberto seems to me as someone who would have the answer if not part of it, am I wrong in that assumption.

    My statement re parochial if you read it was an “if.” I would also like to point out that to call someone parochial is not bigoted at least in Canada. I suggest you check you dictionary. My usage of the word parochial is to say, “very limited or narrow in scope or outlook; provincial: parochial views; a parochial mentality.” What is bigoted about that? I am even parochial on some issues. We even have parochial schools in some provinces. So to use parochial is not in anyway meant to be insulting it is just a statement of fact, nothing more.

    As for the “split” usage I thank you for your interpretation but I am interested in what mac meant. Also I do not understand how physics comes into play in negotiations I guess I was absent from class when that was discussed.

    We all have different approaches in developing our personal knowledge and understanding of events. I like to have the problems issues/facts out in the open so we can make intelligent and thoughtful choices and even reject them if they do not match with what we believe is right. And to do this we must stay unemotional. Emotion will cloud the issues so we do not need to attack someone who we disagree with. We must strive to understand —attacking will not move the discussion on.

    And in the end we may not see eye to eye but we have had a discussion of mutual respect or am I being to parochial.

    Graham, in BC

    23/08/2009 at 04:07

  6. Graham,
    I will try to answer to your questions as best as I can, but you’ll have to bear with the inevitable length of this post, I am sorry about that. Luckily I have answered enough times to some of these questions that I only have to cut and paste from previous answers or posts.

    First of all, thanks for clarifying what you meant by “split”.

    There are in fact two possible interpretations of that: the failure of the negotiation between the FGG and M2006 — on which I will come back some paragraphs later — and the situation of permanent division determined by the creation of a new quadrennial event in competition with the Gay Games after 2006.

    Most of us see the latter as the true split, because the former could have only resulted into a dispute –in which respective responsibilities and faults can be discussed like we are doing – but that could have mended itself after 2006, while the latter seems an unilateral decision that allowed a situation of division to install itself permanently.

    M2006 would have better devoted itself to the best possible production of its own event Rendez-Vous, instead of dispersing public funds and other resources creating a parallel LGBT sports movement.

    But, as said in other forums, the creation of that brand was seen as necessary by M2006 in order to not be perceived as a once-only event in competition with another having a 20+ years of rich background of history, legacy and tradition, and was seen as an opportunity by groups in other cities willing to organize a large LGBT event like the Gay Games without having to go through the more competitive site selection process of the FGG.

    I also thank you for acknowledging how at that time perspectives were tainted by the wave of negative feelings towards the Bush administration. I just wish you took that acknowledgment a little step further, that is, that M2006 deliberately surfed that wave and stirred those feelings. Is that too much to wish? J

    I’ll try to explain now the demands of the FGG to M2006 and why I think they were warranted and even indispensable. Let me also make two more premises before doing that.

    First, “community” is a vague word. To be clear, in the following I will use the word “community” by meaning the LGBT sport community, that is, the reunion of all individuals, athletes or cultural participants, sport teams and organizations that compose the world of LGBT sports and take part in, organize, sponsor, sanction its events.

    The other premise is the following: I belong to that current who believes that the Gay Games were created by and for the community and that they should to be run and managed by the community.

    For that purpose; our founders chose a model based on a permanent body, an “agency” (the FGG) structured as a federation of LGBT sports organizations and, at that time, a group of individual directors, mandated to administer the event on behalf of the community, who remains the owner.

    The event is then “lent” to a local organizing committee (the “host”) for a period of five years during which they produce one edition. This is done by means of a contract of Licence Agreement (the “LA”). Via the representative structure of the FGG (which, I believe, is a valid one and should be strengthened), the community remains the owner, the host only buys the rights to organize an event using the Gay Games trademarks under some specific conditions and obtains a return in terms of expertise, data bases, software, statistics, exposure, material assistance including but not limited to countless hours of very concrete volunteer work of FGG representatives for the GG host.

    Now, and this is the part when we may have to agree to disagree, I believe that this model is the best possible to guarantee that the Gay Games remain an ownership of the community. And I believe that in order to do that, the agency must “have some teeth” or it cannot effectively deliver what it is supposed to.

    If someone has a better model than that, I would like to see it, but up to now, I have not seen any alternative that could work better than one that we have and that does not entirely put the management of the event in the hands of other entities, perhaps components of the LGBT community at large (which absolutely positively have to be involved somehow in the project), but not connected to “the community” in the sense I am using it.

    Can you count on the host itself to also play that role? I believe that the answer is no. First of all, that would lead to intrinsic conflicts of interest, because the interests of the host do not always coincide with those of the community. But even more important, the problem is that the host is not necessarily representative of the “community”.

    Again, M2006 is a perfect example: an organization substantially managed by politicians and tourism representatives not involved in LGBT sports, not even “owned” by the local LGBT sport community, like it was the case for instance for Sydney 2002 (owned by and accountable to Team Sydney, in addition to being accountable to the FGG) or Games Cologne (owned by and accountable to SC Janus, in addition to being accountable to the FGG).

    It is also interesting to keep in mind the context of the years 1994-2002.

    Starting from post-GGIV, even several years before Kathleen Webster’s and my tenure as FGG Co-presidents (2001-2006), the concerns expressed to the FGG by the LGBT community were quite different than those started hearing after the failure of the GGVI negotiations and until today.

    At that time, everybody was only focusing on the sequence of deficits of New York, Amsterdam and then Sydney, which, as acknowledged by some hosts themselves, were mostly caused by unwise and unfocused budgetary choices made by hosts who, in the end, were not effectively accountable to the FGG.

    What we were hearing from the community was mostly: “Guys, you have to do something about that. Get hold of this event. Hosts come and go and disappear and leave deficits behind them. Only you, FGG, as the permanent body agency administrator of the event can do something. You have been put there to administer the event on our behalf, so do that”.

    In the end, there were two possible alternatives for the FGG at that time. Either leaving everything the way it was, or ensure that the FGG had the some “teeth” in order to exert the right and the duty to administer of the event.

    The first alternative was in opposition with what the community was asking us; in addition, other events occurred after the choice of Montréal’s bid like such as September 11 and its consequences or the new deficit of Sydney, only made that route even less practicable for the FGG wrt to all our stakeholders and even beyond.

    The second alternative was basically what we did. And I have to say, I respect the courage of those community leaders composing the FGG in 2003 who stood up for that, even without the hindsight of the respective final financial results of Montréal and of Chicago. If anything, those results reinforce the point that it is not wise to leave a host without any form of supervision and that, unless someone can suggest something better, it seems to me that a nonprofit, non-lucrative, volunteer run and community based organization is a good candidate to do that.

    Let’s look at the precise demands of the FGG that were still points of disagreement with M2006 at the end of the negotiations, they were :

    1. Certain rights of approval over the utilization of the Gay Games trademarks and brand. These rights of approval are standard in this kind of LA, they were basically the same that were in the LA with Sydney and in the pro-forma contract for GGVI. Montréal had received the pro-forma during the bidding stage, when, like all other bidders, they had declared to be ready and able to abide by its principles. I believe that an agreement concerning this item was very close, if not already reached, at the time M2006 interrupted the negotiations.
    2. The principle that the Gay Games would be implemented starting from an initial conservative budget subject to approval by the FGG, basically, an updated revision of the budget of the bid document, in light of events occurred after the bid had been selected, such as September 11, and the Sydney financial result. For us, conservative meant a budget that overestimated expenditures and underestimated income; for instance, by budgeting income as if the Montreal was going to collect 12,000 paid registrations (we were not demanding, as Montreal said, to cap the number of participants at 12,000). I believe that an agreement concerning this item was also practically reached when the FGG conceded to M2006’s request to bring that number to 16,000 paid registrations, which still represented a significant increase of over 50% of the average participation of the previous three Gay Games.
    3. The principle that the host may have, and most probably will have, the need to modify that initial budget, depending on contingencies, such as actual results vs. forecast, during the implementation stage, and therefore the LA must leave the host the leeway to make those changes. The FGG demanded a reasonable (a term defined legally) right of approval over those major changes of the budget, so fundamental that they would modify the overall nature of the event. I believe that this was the point that made M2006 quit the negotiation. The LA with Chicago and Cologne, and hopefully with all future GG hosts, includes that principle.

    Now, without item 3, you are not giving any tooth to the agency. The host would be left free to approve a new budget the following day of the approval of an initial budget, and the FGG would have had no say on it, thus making point 2 in fact moot. The host would basically have carte blanche on the budget and therefore on the event itself, because the budget substantially defines what the event is going to be.

    This is not a purely theoretical scenario, but something that may bring to very real situations like when, during the production of a GG, an artistic director came this close to having the host produce a huge number of parties during the Gay Games, basically shifting the focus from a sports event to a party event, making the Gay Games a sort of Mardi-Gras with an ancillary sports component.

    It is also important to explain that Item 3 was just a more explicit form of something already present in the LA and defining the nature of the relation between the FGG and the host. I believe that at least starting from GGV, both the pro-forma contract included in the Request for Proposals and the respective LA, said that the host had to produce the event substantially in accordance to what presented in the bid document approved by the FGG.

    By such wording, implicitly, the host is expected to seek approval of the FGG in case of major changes of the budget, because a major change of the budget most likely changes the nature of the event in a way that it is no longer “in accordance with what presented in the approved bid document” and that triggers that clause. The alternative to that, is being in breach of the LA. So if this is not new and was not new in 2001 nor in 2003, and if M2006 was unwilling or unable to comply with this approval process, why did they bid? And why during the bidding process they never said that that was an issue?

    You will certainly understand that a LA without item 3 would have also diluted the legitimacy of the entire bidding process, the only other element that guarantees a way of ownership to the community. In the future, like M2006, any other bidder could have said and promised to the FGG exactly what we wanted to hear before being chosen, only to retract those promises during the negotiations.

    Incidentally, when M2006 raised the issue of public money (which was only a red herring in my opinion), the FGG conceded that it would give up its approval rights on the use of any public funds earmarked for a specific use. It was our position that non-earmarked money were to be considered equivalent to any other source of income and given to M2006 to be freely managed by them, understanding that they had to remain in compliance with the LA they had with us.

    I will briefly list a series of additional factors that made it only more important to our eyes that M2006 had some form of supervision
    1. The nature of the composition of the group leading 2006 (in particular, non LGBT sports people)
    2. Certain signals we received from them during the negotiations about how they saw the relationship with the FGG.
    3. The implementation plans of M2006 for GGVI, judged disproportionately grandiose even by their predecessor Sydney.
    4. The fact that locally in Montréal, no other entity, community-based or not, seemed ready to take up that role of asking checks and balances from M2006, as proved by the fact that the 5 million $ deficit surprised everybody, from all levels of government down to GLISA and Equipe Montréal.

    I guess that, if there is any disagreement on this matters, it boils down to how we answer to the following questions :

    • Does the community want a community-based agency that administers the event on its behalf?
    • Does the community want this agency to be strong and enabled to stand up for its interests in case of differences of position with the host and have a right of supervision on the production of the event?

    If the answer to these questions today is “no” then indeed the choice FGG in 2003 has to be reviewed in the light of the current context.

    But in this case, the community cannot hold the FGG also responsible for the deficits of the hosts (ironically, this was one of the angles used by M2006 to diminish the FGG), it cannot expect the FGG to be able to ensure that the standards and the focus of the event are protected and maintained and it cannot expect the FGG to be able to defend the community’s interests if the hosts produces an event that is not in conformed to the community’s expectations. And I do not know who else would do that.

    But if the answer is yes, then I do not see how that can obtained without guaranteeing to the FGG at least those approval rights that we were trying to negotiate with M2006. You may call it “final control”, but anything less than that what would give? An organization without teeth.

    Roberto Mantaci

    23/08/2009 at 15:56

    • Thank you Roberto for taking the time to fully explain the events from the FGG point of view. It had been my understanding that Montreal had been awarded the 2006 gay games and the FGG role was an advisory one. I now see I was mistaken Montreal was not awarded the 2006 gay games as they were still in negotiations with the FGG, right and the FGG had financial control. But I guess Montreal had gone to far along in its development and fundraising to shut down.

      I can understand why Montreal did walk away from the negotiations, as they had federal, provincial, and city support and responsibilities. To allow a foreign entity to control these monies would create a very nasty political situation if not a very questionable legal situation, especially in Quebec. I think you would appreciate that. I think that given the source of some of their funding they had two choices either pull out of the negotiations, or drop the government sponsorships and relationships. No matter what the choice both would be very difficult to make I am sure and have major ramifications.

      With the situation as it is now maybe its the opportunity to revaluate both the value and operations mandates of both organizations. I think we have to understand that we are a community amongst communities and each community has different political & social realities that we must contend with.

      If the FGG wants to play a international role will they be able to have the control of the bottom line or is this something that will need tobe placed in the hands of the host and will they have the sensitivity to deal with the local realities. What are the changes both Outgames and FGG will have to work out if the LGBT sports world communities are to come together. It is obvious compromise will have to be made. Maybe one issue the FGG will need to understand is that in many counties the relationships between national governments and the local LGBT community is much closer and empathic than those in the states. In many cases this would mean the local LGBT community have final say with the finances. Both organization will need to understand the political realities of the countries they go into.

      Recently an organization that I am involved with received a federal grant to collect LGBT oral histories. The contract is very specific on financial sign-off responsibility. In my parochial view I would think this would be standard for most counties especially in times of tight monies that receive gov’t money. We just have to look at the recent restriction on American protectionist stimulus package. We do not get it right in this country at times “thank God” Harper found this out during the last election when he discounted cultural as being a non issue. This statement cost him getting a majority government. He lost Quebec. He did not understand the value Quebec has for culture. When organizations receive any help from gov’t it is understood there is benefit to the community at large for the assistance. In this country it usually means tourist dollars. Vancouver recently held the World Police & Fire Games which had major gov’t sponsorship, the organizer in Vancouver would not have had gov’t sponsor if they did not have the finical control.

      Both organizations will have to review and change or adapt their raison d’etre to go forward. The gay communities are always in a flux, with greater acceptance of gay marriage and child raising in many communities we need to change and adapt. And our organization must also change and adapt.

      Graham, in BC

      23/08/2009 at 20:12

      • Hello Graham,

        Perhaps, in exchange, you could answer to three short questions of mine. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.

        How do you justify that M2006 decided to create GLISA and establish future WOGs thus perpetuating the division of the LGBT sports movement after 2006?

        How do you justify that M2006 presented a bid for the Gay Games if, as you hint, they really were not in position to honor the Licence Agreement governing the event?

        My understanding is that you are basically saying that the FGG may have to reconsider some positions if it wants to play an international role, because otherwise it may be difficult to find international bidders and hosts. How do you justify that statement considering that in the last four bidding cycles (all of which were based on those positions) as many as 13 bidding organizations from 5 different countries and from 3 different continents decided to bid for the Gay Games?

        Thanks in advance.


        24/08/2009 at 13:12

  7. Hi Roberto, I guess I have upset someone as this blog now requires one to be logged in. My previous comment were made without being logged in. To answer your request of me to “justify the actions of others I don’t and cannot” So here is my reply to the general thrust of your questions. —graham in BC

    As I am not nor ever been a member of M2006 or GLISA, I do not have to justify any of the actions/decisions that Montreal 2006 or GLISA make.

    My comments and observations are strictly from an individual trying to understand how we ended up with two gay sports orgs.

    I do not think I hinted at the fact that Montreal was disingenuous in its bid to the FGG . That is your spin. What Montreal knew at the time I can only surmise again as I was not involved in any way with the Montreal bid. To answer this question you should contact one of the original bid committee.

    Yes Roberto you are correct in your understanding that I believe that for the viability of the FGG internationally, it will have to let the host nation have the responsibility, control and have sign-off on the financial. I see this just as a basic respect of the sovereignty of the host nation.

    Roberto what is past is history, yes the FGG did serve a very important purpose but can it still stay viable in the world’s new political landscape and be an international player. The gay and straight community have moved closer together in the last 20 years. We have same sex marriage, gays in the military a greater interaction between the two communities and greater acceptance in the younger generation. A very different landscape from when the first gay games were held and even more different than when the games were held here in Vancouver 89.

    The gay community must and will play a major part in society as time moves on and we must be cognizant of the changes in society. Part of that awareness is being able to make use of the resource our local communities have to offer, and in many countries that means access to the public purse and facilities. Therefore they must have full responsibility for the financials. I think that is called the bottom line.

    Recently Vancouver has been awarded the 2011 GLISA NA games. I would expect no less of government support for these games than was given to the recent World Police & Firemen Games. I have seen it mentioned that the province will anti-up around 200,000$ for the event. I can assure you that if local organizes of 2011 NA Games do not have the finial sign-off and responsibility for the financials I will be in the forefront razing the issue in the with my MLA and MP.

    Administrator’s note: We are not upset. The settings for this blog site were previously incorrectly set. The settings have been corrected. Users must be signed in to comment, and all comments must be manually approved.


    24/08/2009 at 17:28

  8. @Uberbilder:

    I am struck by your use of the words “sovereignty of the host nation”. The FGG does not contract with the government of a country. Nor does it contract with the government of a city or province. It contracts with a private entity, with which it has a contractual relationship under private contract law.

    Organizations that wish to bid to host the Gay Games do so with the understanding of what the contractual relationship will be. They are free to accept them or not, and if not, they don’t bid.

    The Federation of Gay Games has the mission of ensuring that Gay Games take place every four years, indefinitely. This means that the FGG has a stake in ensuring that it will find hosts for future games, and that all stakeholders will be satisfied with each Gay Games. The financial status of host organization operations is key to the success of each event: the goal of the FGG, a goal not always met, is that a host organization break even or make a profit.

    If you are looking at the event from the host’s point of view, you could of course accept enormous losses. The FGG cannot. This doesn’t mean that Gay Games hosts haven’t lost money: but this is a subject of grave concern for the FGG. The desire for organizations to bid for the Gay Games and the willingness of governments to provide financial support for them is necessarily influenced by the ability of host organizations to provide sound financial management. As the sanctioning body, this is of prime concern for the FGG.


    25/08/2009 at 07:17

  9. Hi Marc, I have combined your two comments to my statements into this one reply.

    Thank you for delegating Roger to speak on your behalf, he did do a good job. There is the presumption that there was a whole to begin with.

    In my struggle to understand I try to avoid using clichés and hackneyed phrase in any exchange especially in an international exchange as misunderstandings are bound to occur. Therefore could you please explain what you mean by canard, as I have no idea what to identify.

    Whenever a foreign entity goes into an other jurisdiction they have to follow the rules of that jurisdiction —right. That is the sovereignty that I am referring to, it is a very basic understanding in any international interaction.

    I think you have misunderstood me Marc, I am fully aware of the FGG financial concerns in wanting to control the budgets of the host. What I am saying is that by doing so if they wish to be an international player then the FGG may have to give up the control of the foreign host budget.

    I am assuming that the FGG is considered by the US tax authorities as a non-profit organization. With this designation I assuming there are some tax benefits to those who donate or sponsor FGG events.

    When a foreign host organizes a FGG, in their home community under what “legal” identity do they have to register? This will surly have tax ramifications to all who participate with in the foreign host organizational setup.

    I can see that the FGG with its experience can help inexperienced foreign host navigate through the complex international legal issue that might pop up. This is because the foreign locals may not fully understand or even know what question to ask off their local government. The FGG with their experience can help there.

    But this still begs the question can a foreign host still have access in their own country to the public purse and facilities if the FGG has final control of the budgets. Will the local taxpayers allow their public facilities be use by a foreign organization? My thinking is that even when a local host organize it all hell would brake out if the perception was that a foreign organization was using their facilities and denying them access to their facilities when they wanted to use them. Ask Vanoc (organizers for the 2010 Olympics) how they got around this issue here in Vancouver. Local communities do not give up their facilities without a fight, and much monies on the organizers part.

    There is no denying that the FGG has played a very important part in the life of gay sports internationally. But that is in the past. We are in a very complex international world now, the FGG has a place in the states, but can it have a place beyond the US boarders? That is what the debate is all about. If the FGG wishes to be continue being an international player, is it status quo or what internal change need to be made to hold its ground, to remain viable in an international context.

    We may all want the FGG to control the budgets in all jurisdictions but the reality of dealing with budgets in an international field may prevent that. That is the reality that the Federation of Gay Game must face. It is the laws (sovereignty) of the foreign jurisdictions that will either allow or disallow the FGG to have final say in budgets. That is a fact of life that the FGG faces if its to play in the international field. —graham


    25/08/2009 at 19:28

  10. I have to question Graham’s logic in equating the World Police and Firemen Games (WPFG) with the GLISA NA/WOGs event for 2011, because it illustrates clearly what is wrong with the GLISA ‘model’.

    Besides the fact that the WPFG is headquartered/incorporated in California (oopsie… cannot have that!), has a long successful track record going back to when they were even called the Police ‘Olympics’ back in the late ’70s, the marketing & funding formula are very different. WPFG always comes in with relatively ‘static’ event registration#s, similar to the IOC/Olympic model, and event registration income is nowhere near the important success factor it is with a GayGames or WOGs. WPFG comes into the host agreement with signed sponsors & media contracts. The ‘critical mass’ for success is predetermined, almost guaranteed, and pulls from a much larger ‘reliable’ base of the mainstream population. WPFG events are ‘extended family events’, held during family vacation season, and marketed to achieve a ‘critical mass’ of event spectators (-NOT- event registrations). The risk to the host is a lot less because this is not such a hard sell, as costs are purposely managed to target the extended ‘blue collar’ family. -AND- there are no extra political conferences or cultural events to muddy the water. Much like a WOGs or GayGames, the registrants have no time for ‘educational/propaganda’ conferences that talk about problems they have no intention to really solve, but only talk about to extend their job security in ‘academia’.

    It is hubris to ask Vancouver to budget the same subsidies for a WOGs as a WPFG as if they had equivalent risk to a ROI, -especially- after Montreal 2006 and CopenHagen 2009. We are already seeing buyer’s remorse in Antwerp not paying the ~$250k license fee for WOGs3.

    GayGames and WOGs must achieve ‘critical mass’ from a relatively small segment of the population (LGBT athletes), and that requires the kind of investment that WOGs is incapable of. That ‘buzz’ cannot be manufactured from glitzy marketing as if the event were just selling tickets to a Madonna concert. That LGBT athlete ‘critical mass’ demographic cannot be built from high end marketing to the ‘rich white boy A-Gays’ from the North American gay ghettos, which can afford ~$280 registration fees, ~$200/night hotels, or ~$3k Baltic Cruises.

    I have been intimately involved in this ‘critical mass’ team building for GayGames since 1990, after having competed in 1982/1986. Team San Francisco is always ~1200 LGBT athletes, or ~10% of a GayGames. It is this kind of ‘critical mass’ building that enhances the ‘buzz’ that fuels the success of the event. I have a deep understanding of the ~32k past 7 GayGames participant demographic, and GLISA simply does not market to it.

    With 40% of any GayGames being American, how can GLISA just ignore and deprecate American involvement? The LGBT sports movement did not begin in Montreal 2006, it began in the 1970’s in the United States. Get over it. International -includes- the USA as well. GayGames has been more than international, and so has the FGG. It is ridiculous to say that international contract law does not exist.. it is done all the time, and it is irrelevent to where the parties are incorporated.

    IMHO, there is this incredible myth finally being exposed in the LGBT community that these GLISA Pride & Tourism moguls know more than their track record shows. Better hope Vancouver city officials are not monitoring this blog, like Copenhagen politicians were monitoring OutSports two years ago!

    Thankfully, many host cities -are- still bidding for GayGames, while GLISA has to create a bidding pretext and go begging for a host. The truth is finally getting out after the biased media coverage of 2006.
    -Gene Dermmody San Francisco


    27/08/2009 at 01:32

    • Hi Gene thanks for your reply. Much can be said about “critical mass” that is not my argument. It is all very good to bring it up as I agree it is an important consideration for any activity and its all relative. Here in Vancouver on the last Friday of the month we have The Critical Mass Bicycle ride, not to be confused with the frequent Nudist Bicycle rides.

      In what you would call a logical presentations you still did not answer the critical if not crucial question of the access of facilities that I have been writing about.

      I agree it is irrelevant to where in the world the organizations are incorporated but it is important who has the final sign-off authority to the financials if they are getting any use of public facilities.

      As you said in regards to the, WPFG back in the late ’70s, the marketing & funding formula are very different. I am sure they have adjusted since they first started out. Could you imagine an American group such as the WPFC at the highs of the cold war have a contingent from Russia or any other communist state of the day. Organization have to adapt, change or they die. will the FCC evolve or die?

      It will be very interesting to see in the years to come will the FGG have as prominent roll in the world gay sports arena as it did prior to the Chicago’s games.

      I am a supporter of what will work the best for the gay communities. You do realize that I have to take what you say as coming from someone with a certain amount of bias. What is the biased media coverage of 2006 you refer to.
      —Graham, in Vancouver


      30/08/2009 at 22:50

      • Thanks Graham.. Let me tackle these one at a time…Biased LGBT MEDIA..
        In the 2006 Montreal debacle, all the Canadian media like Hour, Fugues, and XTRA, specifically Richard Burnett, and even this American!!!… all categorically refused to do any of the investigative reporting that would have alerted the city of Montreal, the registrants, and averted the $5mil fiasco. The blitz of feel good Political Correctness about Montreal was just fluff and embarassing given what eventually happened. Where were the calls for monthly publication of much needed accurate data by sport registrations like Chicago had? Where were the open and heated discussions of the sponsorships & budgets? NADA. Those of us working for Chicago who KNEW who were/were not registering for which sports were questioning the fabrications coming from Montreal. Finally some journalists started pealing off and asking the tough questions. Wrestler Jim Provenzano from the Bay Area Reporter was initially a HUGE Montreal supporter, and lobbied hard within Team San Francisco and WWB for Montreal in the lead-up 2000 bid. But the lies became too much for him, and he began questioning. All you have to do is read all the WOGs unchallenged press releases and the biased columnists from 2004-2007. I have read them, they are on my ‘list’, and I could just puke over the embarassment I feel about the state of LGBT journalism. Richard Burnett now even tries to distance himself with this silly postmodern crap.. the ‘pox on both your houses’ cowardly refuge. Where was he in 2005? What happened in Montreal was predicted by the FGG, and was the impetus after 2002 for asking Montreal to revisit/justify their budgets & projections. Hardly a reason to walk away from being the GayGames host, unless you already had ‘other plans’, which MOntreal did! Why villify the FGG and not Montreal? Simple, anti Americanism & political correctness run amuck in the PC LGBT media.
        Thankfully now we have a much more engaged, Edge Publications, BayAreaReporter, etc… that ARE asking the tough questions. Thank God for these blogs and for Google search engines, people are finally being educated to the facts of that horrible episode.
        My pet peeve with these GLISA press releases is that they take credit for stuff that GayGames or other organizations have had for decades (like the conferences, cultural activities). All good stuff, but not invented by GLISA. So why not publish a lie in the media, if no one questions these obvious inaccuracies, as if all LGBT sports began with GLISA in 2006! Some say the media is more resource constrained and lazy than biased. But LGBT media is definitely sports/athletically challenged, preferring fashion, music, and glitz. LGBT media concentrates on uncontroversial politically correct fluff that everyone agrees with. E.g.. it makes absolutely NO difference how many people have a ‘good time’ at a WOGs if the basic premise of its existence is destroying the ‘critical mass’ of small sports to survive on an international quadrennial. If WOGs can only survive with a reasonably sized local sports registration like an IGLA championship, then it is NOT worthy of an International ‘World’ Brand designation that hikes up the prices! I did not see the story on the hotel rates of Copenhagen dropping ~25% 2 weeks before WOGs2 in Uffe’s report. Should that not have made the news? I had to read it on, after I was already in Copenhagen and saw the outrageous prices of everything!
        It is IMHO more of a disgrace that even Copenhagen’s Secretariat Report credits the Sydney 2002 data and operation plans for its ‘success’… DUH.. This is all FGG proprietary intellectual property! Why is no one aghast at this self admitted fact, -especially- the investigative biased media which is supposed to be our ‘fairness’ watchdog? I would venture it is grounds for a law suit. Does not fairness matter, or can it be ignored because the FGG is perceived to be an ugly insensitive Amerocentric corporation? THAT is the big lie, and I am on the warpath to make sure I post a response to every friggin lie I see coming out, whether Vancouver’s darling Robin Tyler’s 2006 Montreal nonsense in the BayAreaReporter, or Burnett’s latest recycleable, or these and other blogs. The facts are facts, and sooner or later people are going to get over their PC biases and pay attention to what is important and what is true.


        31/08/2009 at 04:39

      • I can field the question about the FGG’s request to have rights of approval over major changes of the budget and the fact that, according to Graham’s position could prevent the FGG from having an international role in the future, but basically I think it is all a false problem and a red herring.

        As Gene said, if the FGG demands were too high, then why for the bidding cycles of both GGVIII vs. WOG2 and GGIX vs. WOG3 more bidders did not chose to bid for the WOG, for which GLISA does not have such demands?

        In 2005 the FGG had three bids from three different countries (France, Germany and South Africa), GLISA had to reopen the deadline because they had no bidders and they only found Copenhagen as a last resort. In 2009 the FGG has had three bidders (all from the US, so perhaps this does not count for Graham), GLISA had to go very unenthusiastically with the only option they had, Antwerp, and apparently the contract between GLISA and Antwerp is not even signed yet and neither of the two seems eager to finalize a partnership with the other.

        I also think it was a red herring even for Montréal 2006.

        The hard period of negotiations between the FGG and M2006 was from November 2002 (post GGVI deficit reality check) to November 2003. If having an “ugly American” organization “control” the poor Canadian taxpayers’ money was a real issue, then why M2006 only took out this argument in the last few weeks of the negotiations and not before?

        The answer IMHO is that, at that time, M2006 had already decided to go ahead and produce their own event without the FGG and they needed to prepare the ground for the reactions that this decision may have had on them. It was such a nasty decision that it could backfire. But they had millions of dollars to spend and paid spin doctors to carefully craft such a guerrilla campaign. Stirring up anti American and nationalistic feelings in Canada against the FGG in any possible way was part of the strategy, and the consequences of that strategy still show in the posts of Graham.

        But in the end, _really_, what would be the all purpose of going through a careful, thoughtful, demanding site selection process only to chose a bid that can be freely and completely changed by the host the moment after being chosen? Which organization would do that? Which organization would not protect its trademark and properties, intellectual or not, by giving them all away without a word to say about how they are used? Let’s get rid of the site selection process altogether then and have cities/coutries/tourism offices pass the Gay Games to each other.

        I will end by saying that, contrary to what Graham does not seem to know, the FGG has constantly evolved and adapted. It has evolved in its internal structure and in a way that better serves its purposes and those of its constituency and make it more efficient to work in partnership with the host. It has adapted thanks to the knowledge and the expertise acquired through the years and following the real demands and the needs of our constituency as they have expressed them and not the demands of external entities or individuals, like it is being pressured to do in these days.


        01/09/2009 at 11:07

  11. Graham– Now for this weird concept about FGG control of the Host’s $$. It is laughable if it were not so widespread a misperception. This is another of those media unchallenged lies perpetrated by Montreal.
    I really hope Roberto fields this answer, as he will do a better job than I will.
    I had been on the FGG Board 1992-2007, serving in many official capacities from Sports, VP, appointed President 2xs, Technology, Strategic Planning, et al. I went through the difficult & complex efforts of putting on the NYC, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Chicago GayGames from all perspectives…. as a competitor, coach, team organizer, and FGG delegate/officer. I even spent 3 weeks in Chicago in 2006 as a tech volunteer.
    Please give me some credit for my biases. I know those damn license agreements. They were international, they evolved, and they NEVER gave FGG control of the Host’s $$.
    The Host can do whatever it wants, but risks the consequences of violating the License Agreement… an agreement that is not unusal in its design that it forces a partnership to AVOID resorting to the courts. So if there is a clause that states that budgets should be reforcast if revenues drop, then it behooves the host to cooperate, because the FGG has had experience. It is for the good of both parties to honor the contract. However the Host can do whatever it wants at its own risk, but the FGG can get an injunction for contract violation, and suspend the License.
    This is what I originally suspected Montreal was going to do, sign the License agreement and ignore it and the FGG. Instead they walked away from the contract, and proceeded with their own Brand, something they were obviously planning for because of the speed and professionalism with which it exploded in the media.
    As a real example, Sydney 2002 was determined to go live with their on-line registration which the FGG deemed too buggy. The FGG went to court, got an injunction just about in front of a judge, and Sydney backed down at the very last minute. Never did the FGG have legal control of Sydney $$, just a contract for putting on the GayGames.. There is nothing nuanced about this…. a contract, a License Agreement.
    Sydney and Amsterdam both had state and city $$, and NEVER was this issue of FGG control of host $$ an issue because the government ‘strings’ were not inconsistent with the mutual goals of putting on the event. Everyone wants the same thing, success. What I am trying to wrap my head around is what kind of ‘strings’ around the $$ or VIK would Montreal have had from their governments that the FGG would have objected to? Are you insinuating that the FGG’s request for a reasonable reforcast of a budget given the recent events in Sydney was unreasonable? Would the city of Montreal have objected if the new reforcast budget was lower and more realistic? That would be a first for any government! Or is this some straw man arguement about a nonexistent problem manufactured to discredit the FGG, especially when the $5mil loss results vindicated the FGG’s prediction! I just do not get it.
    In short I think it is insane to think that of the 8 GayGames, 4 will have been non American hosts, using an international License Agreement, and Americans routinely make up ~40% of the ~10k registrations!
    Have you ever looked at the IOC/Olympic Host Contracts, or the Masters Games contracts? We have.
    We agree that the countries of incorporation are irrelevent. So what is this issue about the evil ugly American control of a Host’s Budget? Obviously Montreal needed to be controlled by someone, but they got a politically correct pass in the biased media. They were really out of control, and it will be a long time before any LGBT event of this scale will be attempted in Canada because of this tragedy.
    We are talking normal terms and conditions of agreement in a contract for how the two parties will operate in achieving a mutual goal. This includes whatever the parties agree to… sponsorship rights, budget reforcasts, approval rights on Executive Director, etc… This is international business 101. If the parties AGREE to a financial sign off for whatever, they agree or they do not accept the contract. It is irrelevent whether it is American or International… Contracts like this are ratified routinely by the thousands every day.
    But if you want to perpetuate the lie that Montreal was a victim of those ugly evil Americans, the facts do not bear it out. Montreal walked away because they wanted to steal a Brand and they did not want a reforcasted lower budget that would have meant less slush $$ from the government! Sounds like a serious scam to me! Even if Montreal had doubled their registrations by getting all of Chicago’s registrants, they would still have lost ~$2mil… Their gay-gay-gay ‘vision’ and budget was all fluff hype and marketing PR, a bloated disaster for all future LGBT events, no matter how many people say they had a ‘good time’. Is this the integrity and tradition that GLISA ties its WOGs to? Why should I not be fighting this scam?


    31/08/2009 at 05:46

    • Hi Gene
      I find it very interesting that because I question FGG and its supporters to keep the status quo I am accused of being anti-american and anit-FGG. How very wrong your are. I find it amazing the the response to my questions have been responded as if it were some Fox News circus or Gerry Springer at best. Funny as it is it is very disappointing to see such a low level of discussion, is it to much to expect a reframe from name calling and boorish behaviour. What ever happened to just common civility and respect. On the lighter side it did bring laughter and levity that I am sure you meant to create.
      A lot of your points, if I can call them that are very hypothetical in the relationship to how Montreal or other government agencies would react. I have a preference to address what is.
      Surly those who have been intimately involved in the FGG as long as you have would have developed some diplomatic skill to discuss important issue —is that to much to expect. If this is what Montreal had to put up with in the negotiations then I am not surprised of the walk out.

      Gene when you mentioned the FGG looked at the IOC/Olympic Host Contracts, or the Masters Games contracts? I have not looked at the specific documents you mentioned. The IOC documents I looked at were updated changes to the original document and related more to the Vancouver 2010 games. What updated version are you referring to. But it does point out that if the IOC can make change in its operation then maybe the FGG will find where a way to adapt to a more intonational position. The Supreme Court of BC case of Sagen v. Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is very interesting reading and this is at the crux of my issue with any international event that wants to use my tax dollars in any way. When an organization wants to access or funding I expect that the final say be held by the organizer in my community and in this case a rule that goes against Canada’s Charter of rights. I cite this case not that it was won as it has since moved in to an appeal and it demonstrates a communities reluctance to adhere to a status quo. The IOC is also in need of change.

      I will not take up anymore space to repeat the issues as I see them for the future of both FGG or GLISA. We need unemotional reasoned thoughtful ideas to contribute to any negotiation to solve the impasse. We do not need pointed fingers.


      01/09/2009 at 00:11

  12. Graham.. If current international contract law is ‘Status Quo’, so be it. If this silly IOC/Vancouver 2010 item that has your panties in a knot and has so little to do with Montreal is the best reason you can come up with for justifying GLISA, it is very sad logic. Montreal walked out in 2004. It is now 2009, and you are using this legal case as justification? These items are negotiable items usually easy to solve as the terms of a license agreement concerning $$ and properties in a contract. Your logic implies WOGs and GayGames (and ANY international event) should have waited for the Canadian Supreme Court before writing anymore international contracts. This is lunacy. It is your personal hubris to say the IOC and/or the FGG need to listen to you. Your politics are showing. Is this the basis for all of this WOGs angst? This is patently absurd, and really points out the real reason was to steal a Brand, because you cannot produce a valid reason. I can see why you prefer to back out of this discussion like the other GLISA people, not because you cannot handle a direct style, but because you have no honest answers to anything, just fuzzy emotions. Good grief.


    02/09/2009 at 03:16

    • For sake of compeleteness about the issue of the rights of approval of the FGG and the innuendo that those would be unreasonable and potentially in conflict with the “soverignty” of the host country, I have asked the opinion of a lawyer specialised in trademarks issues and international licence agreements.

      This lawyer is NOT from the US and he has a very high profile in his job.

      Here below his response :

      = quote =

      “Sovereignty” indeed!

      Does a sovereignty issue arise when, in a publicly funded arts festival, someone mounts a Samuel Beckett play which, notoriously, must be presented in accordance with precise and minute details as to direction and expenditure from the Beckett estate? Does a sovereignty issue arise when a local promoter also receiving state funds exacts the right to present an F1 race & is told how much they must charge for entry? Does a sovereignty issue arise when Ticketmaster promotes a concert tour that includes dates at municipally owned stadia in Canada and specifies what the venue must charge for the hot dogs?

      Sometimes I think that they must put something in the maple syrup […]

      = End quote =


      03/09/2009 at 11:16

  13. Gene, Thanks for adding the humour to my day and answering my questions to the best of your ability. You flatter me with your accusations of my motives, I only wish it could be true as I would then understand your personal attacks. I do though now understand better why you must rightly or wrongly be so defensive. As a supporter of my local FGG team vancouver I now see I must review that support. As you say good grief.


    02/09/2009 at 16:08

  14. Graham.. It is not personal, I am not defensive, it is your position & logic that beg a response. Why do you think you can just pontificate nonsense without challenge? Why not answer -any- of the questions and present a case instead of playing victim. Must you GLISA types hide behind prissy effete formality instead of vigorous debate of facts? WOGs will no longer get a pass in the media/blogs, they can expect constant tough rebuttles. Potential host cities will now be getting an ear full. Please keep posting gems like this Canadian Sovereignty… You say no wonder Montreal walked away? I say Thank God they walked away!


    04/09/2009 at 06:51

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