Settlements have been reached in dueling lawsuits over who has the rights to stage the Gay Games IX, scheduled to be held in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio in 2014.
“I don’t think all of the parties have fully signed off on all of the paperwork, but yes, it has been settled,” said Chicago’s Kurt Dahl (pictured at right), co-president of the Federation of Gay Games. “The terms of the settlement cannot be disclosed. There are confidentiality agreements all across the board. Basically the lawsuit that was filed by Cleveland Synergy Foundation and the countersuits by the FGG and others will be dismissed.”
Dahl did say the settlement signaled the end of CSF’s efforts to stage the event.
“CSF will not be involved going forward,” Dahl said. “They will not be part of the host organization.”
CSF was award the right to host the quadrennial global LGBT multisport and cultural festival over bids from Boston and Washington, D.C. in late 2009. The FGG then terminated CSF’s license in early summer 2010, citing CSF’s failure to submit required information in a timely fashion. In September 2010 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; and the FGG named Cleveland Special Events Corporation as the new host entity. Thomas Nobbe, a founder of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and an active swimmer and volleyball player, was named executive director of CSE in May.
In the months of preparations for the trial, which had been scheduled for July, allegations were raised by CSF of homophobic behavior and comments by members of the groups that were moving forward with Gay Games IX.
“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,” said Robby Davis, the FGG officer of development who has helped oversee Cleveland operations. “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.”
– by Roger Brigham