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Gay Games may
still be in play for Chicago suburb

Gay Games may
still be in play for Chicago suburb

Gay rowing competition in city at first rejected, now reconsidered.

The all-American Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake may play host to part of the Gay Games after all.

The Games--taking place in and around Chicago this July--proposed a rowing event at Crystal Lake, only to see it rejected by the city's park board members in a 2-2 vote last week. A majority was needed to secure the competition, and park board president Jerry Sullivan, away on vacation for the initial vote, returned on Friday with a promise to approve the Gay Games proposal.

"I think that's something we'd be able to manage without any real inconvenience," Sullivan told a Chicago-area newspaper. "My gut reaction would be that I most likely would be in favor of it."

Sullivan, with the support of the two park commissioners who voted to approve the event, called a meeting for Tuesday to reconsider the proposal. "I'm hopeful we get another opportunity to vote on an issue where I think we were incorrect," said Michael Zellman, one of the commissioners supporting the event. "At the core of this issue is human rights. People need to be aware of that."

One of the board members who rejected the event was Dave Phelps, who objected to organizations seeking to advance "a person's agenda or sexual preference." Scott Breeden, the other commissioner who turned down the proposal, said his choice was not based on keeping gay athletes out of Crystal Lake but with giving away access to the lake on a Sunday in July. He expressed surprise at the vitriolic responses to his decision, though, which prompted many angry e-mails.

"This is the most orchestrated, threatening situation I have ever found myself in," Breeden told the local press. "It turns out that there are certain groups, apparently, you cannot have a disagreement with without being labeled." (

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