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County welcomes Gay Games

Friday, July 22, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times

Perhaps some Cook County commissioners didn't get the memo. But in Cook County, we don't just tolerate diversity, we celebrate it. Included in the definition of diversity are people who identify themselves as gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender.

Five commissioners withdrew their names from a proclamation welcoming the Gay Games Sports and Cultural Festival. After voting to issue a formal proclamation welcoming the event -- a symbolic courtesy afforded just about any group that requests it -- Republicans Gregg Goslin, Liz Gorman, Carl Hansen, Tony Peraica and Peter Silvestri withdrew their support. "It's just not in keeping with my personal beliefs," said Peraica, who is running for County Board president next year. Peraica also claims the snub is "nothing against the gay and lesbian community."

Organizers of the Gay Games Sports and Cultural Festival could have taken this event -- and its many, many dollars of business -- elsewhere. Contrary to complaints voiced by the Illinois Family Institute, the proclamation doesn't provide funding for the festival -- only a welcome mat. Fortunately, the Republicans are a minority on the board, and the welcome mat is still out.



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