In light of the discriminatory laws against LGBT individuals which hang over the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi, it is HRC’s belief that an event which proudly showcases the diversity and talents of LGBT athletes is uniquely necessary and timely.
“The Gay Games bring athletes from around the world together to celebrate sport and humanity,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “As the Sochi games are plagued with archaic and bigoted laws, the Gay Games show the world that anti-LGBT bigotry and discrimination have no place in the world of sports.”
HRC will be the official sponsor of the Marathon and Half Marathon at the 2014 Gay Games. This commitment makes HRC an overall Platinum Sponsor of the Games, joining Marriott, Ernst & Young, Eaton Corp. and the Gay Community Endowment Fund of Akron Community Foundation as elite sponsors of the Games.
Tim Downing, co-chair of the 2014 Gay Games Leadership Council and former co-chair of HRC Board of Directors, expressed the 2014 Gay Games’ pleasure to have HRC as a partner who shares a similar mission. “HRC has and continues to create lasting change in regard to equality for all. While the Gay Games happens one week every four years, its positive impact on participants, their friends and the host communities lasts forever,” he said.
In the months leading up to the Games, HRC will encourage its members and supporters around the country and world to participate or volunteer with the Games. As an incentive, each registration by an HRC member or supporter using a unique code will have a portion of the registration fee directly benefit the Russia LGBT Sport Federation. The Federation will use these funds to provided necessary gear and scholarships to out Russian athletes who wish to make the trip to Cleveland this August. Additionally, the next 1,000 registrants to the Gay Games will also receive a special promotional code to the HRC Action Center & Store.
HRC will be present the week of the Gay Games to engage attendees from around the world about its work domestically and abroad.