Monday, July 31, 2006

World Outgames Open

World Outgames Open

The inaugural event of the first World Outgames ended with a score of LGBT 1, Federal Government O, as 40,000 people at Montreal's Olympic Stadium booed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's representative long and lustily during Saturday night's opening ceremonies.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) athletes from 111 countries took to the field from the four corners of the stadium in a winding procession, unfurling national flags, rainbow flags, pennants, glowsticks, and, in the case of the German team, bright yellow umbrellas.

They danced and waved to those in the stands to the beat of high-energy dance music and Bob Marley's Get Up, Stand Up.

The largest cheers were reserved for the special roll call of countries where homosexuality is still a crime. Participants from at least 20 of those countries are taking part in the Outgames.

By the time the show started, there were 28,000 spectators in the seats and 12,000 athletes and participants on the infield.

A beaming Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay was the most popular politician in the house. He had to start his welcoming speech twice, each time interrupted by a huge ovation.

But even the mayor couldn't help Public Works Minister Michael Fortier, Harper's Quebec lieutenant and stand-in for the event. Fortier's remarks were swallowed up in a rising tide of boos, which then grew more deafening as much of the crowd began slamming their folding seats up and down. Harper has promised to revisit the issue of same-sex marriage in Parliament.

"Shame! Shame! Shame!" spectators cried, wagging their upraised fingers in unison.

The only applause Fortier got was when he uttered the names of Canadian Olympic champion and Outgames co-president Mark Tewksbury and tennis great Martina Navratilova, who followed him out to read the Declaration of Montreal in English, French and Spanish.
(keep reading)

(Showstoppers Members of Thailand's delegation to the Outgames sport bold outfits during the event's opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium last night. About 12,000 athletes from 111 countries were on hand to celebrate the launch of the Games in front of 28,000 spectators.)

(The Cirque du Soleil)


Rough reception for Harper's stand-in

kd lang blasts PM over refusal to open Outgames

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