future of gay games

a forum for the open discussion of the future of the Gay Games

WWB letter

Wrestlers WithOut Borders sent the following letter to the board and the assembly on 12 August 2015:

 

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Fellow FGG Delegates:

The Board of Wrestlers Without Borders (WWB) would like to chime in on the FGG/GLISA merger discussions and 1WE issues. We know you’ve all had lots of emails to read recently; hopefully this one will be of some value to you.

While WWB has not gotten caught up in all of the day-to-day discussions and discourse on the Assembly e-mail list, we do want to make our position very clear. Hopefully by articulating our position, we will help others solidify theirs, and provide a better path to the future of the FGG. We hope that the Board of the FGG will hear our concerns, and be more clear with the FGG General Assembly members. We hope that this document will be used as a path to guide discussions in Limerick, and provide a clear path to get to a final decision on the potential merger with GLISA, and 1WE.

Summary:

There has been a lot of controversy over the last few months precipitated by the FGG signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with GLISA to proceed with a 1-World Event in 2022. We believe that many Assembly members are unsure just what their role will be in deciding on a possible FGG/GLISA Merger, and the creation of a 1WE.

The barrage of emails on the FGG Assembly list-serve is a result of this uncertainty. These emails have triggered frustration, discord, and personal attacks between Assembly and Board Members who care very much about the Gay Games and its future. Clearly, many people have passion for this organization, but tensions are running high. Much of the activity on the list serve is not productive, even though it is meant to inform the membership. Most of the General Assembly membership is simply overwhelmed with all of the information, and is getting distracted from running their own sport organizations, and participating in the FGG.

We believe the FGG Board must make it clear that no final decisions have yet been reached, and also make the path to those decisions clear.

  • We believe that the FGG, although well-intentioned, is basing its actions on a possibly flawed survey, which is the belief that the athletes of the world who would participate in a Gay Games or World Outgames want a single quadrennial event – at any cost.
  • We would like the Board of the FGG to make it clear to the Assembly that there will be no final decision on an FGG/GLISA merger, or the 1WE Event, unless it has been brought to the FGG General Assembly and approved by a majority of the membership.
  • We would also like the Board of the FGG to give a clear, basic timeline for the events that will occur leading up to this decision on whether to merge FGG and GLISA and create a 1WE. Specifically:

o A date to have the legal review of the FGG/GLISA merger completed and that information provided to the General Assembly.

o An estimated date to have a final proposal of the FGG/GLISA merger completed.

o An estimated date to vote on a 1WE event.

We think it is important to clarify a couple of points: 

  • An agreement with GLISA is not yet finalized. The General Assembly will have the final vote.
  • FGG and GLISA may not legally be able to merge as is currently being proposed. This issue must be settled before proceeding with any merger.
  • The MOU allows a Pandora’s Box to be opened with regards to the outcome. The FGG has not put any conditions in place: This suggests a merged event at ANY COST instead of forming the right event for the future.

There are some conditions we believe must be included:

  • The new 1WE will be predominately focused on sports participation. Otherwise, it is not within the Scope of the mission of the Gay Games.
  • “Participation, Inclusion and Personal best” and the “Gay Games” name, even if just incorporated as part of the new event name and motto, should be retained.
  • Inclusion of smaller sports that are represented in the FGG. No sport may be removed from future Gay Games or 1WE’s, without a majority vote from the General Assembly.  These sports are often resource intensive and therefore tempting for the host to eliminate or reduce, but their ability to engage athletes who do not fit into other sports goes to the core of the Gay Games human rights mission. Let’s not lose that mission!

The FGG wants to be transparent, but if the path we are going to take is not clear to the General Assembly, then the current discord and confusion will continue. We urge the FGG Board to clarify the forward, clearly state the role of the General Assembly in the approval process, and give estimated dates around when events will occur.

 

Signed,

 

Chris Lorefice, Chair of Wrestlers Without Borders

On behalf of the WWB Board of Directors

August, 2015

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