October 14 - The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has written to the Gay and Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) outlining dates to potentially reopen discussions on a single combined quadrennial event after the two organisations failed to reach an agreement on the matter last year.
The move comes after GLISA wrote to the FGG last month attempting to restart communications following last May's face-to-face meeting in Montreal, where, GLISA says, an agreement for a jointly-governed event in 2018 was reached only for the FGG to later request modifications and then start the bidding process for its own 2018 Gay Games, which was last week awarded to Paris.
GLISA subsequently opened the bidding for its own worldOutgames in 2017, which has since been awarded to Miami Beach, and instead said it is focusing its efforts on a joint event to take place no earlier than 2020.
"Last month we were pleased to receive a letter from GLISA asking to begin discussions again, which dropped most of their restrictive conditions on negotiations," FGG Co-President Kurt Dahl said.
"More importantly, we are listening to our stakeholders and members, who have strongly urged us to reopen discussions."
Although the FGG is showing signs of wanting resume discussions, it has rejected the timetable laid out by GLISA because of its commitments to the 2014 Gay Games, set to take place in Cleveland and Akron.
In a letter addressed to GLISA Co-President Daniel Vaudrin, Dahl said that a single quadrennial LGBT sport and culture event, 1QE, was an "important topic" at his organisation's 2013 General Assembly, but admitted that the June 2014 deadline proposed by GLISA was "not realistic" as it needs to focus on that year's Gay Games.
Instead, Dahl has proposed that preliminary discussions take place at two meetings of stakeholders ahead of the its 2014 event at the Sin City multi-sport tournament in Las Vegas in January 2014 and the European Gay and Lesbian Sports Federation (EGLSF) Annual General Assembly in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in March as "a sign of good faith".
"We feel that one reason for the failure of earlier negotiations was a rush to move forward on one model of a solution for a single event," Armin Lohrmann, the FGG at-large Board member leading the FGG 1QE group, explained.
"We believe that discussions should include all options, and involve all major stakeholders concerned by this matter, including regional organisations like EGLSF and major international sports such as IGLFA [football] and IGLA [aquatics]."
However, speaking to insidethegames today, Vaudrin said that his organisation is currently forming an official response to the FGG letter but admitted that its reply is "not likely to be very favourable".
"The letter we sent out [to the FGG] was clear it had certain conditions, parameters, dates so that we could move forward on this discussion," he explained.
"However, that letter received from the FGG addresses none of these concerns, literally none.
"We will have an official response, but I don't think it will be very favourable."
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