A conservative family values group has urged the United States government to block HIV-positive international visitors from the Gay Games in Chicago in July, arguing the athletes would be a public health threat.But Gay Games organisers have dismissed the claims as abhorrent and irresponsible.Conservative organisation the Illinois Family Institute has asked authorities to revoke a waiver allowing HIV-positive people to enter the US for the Gay Games, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.People with HIV are usually banned from visiting the US, but the Gay Games received Designated Event Status exempting it from the rule earlier this year.The Illinois Family Institute says the Gay Games waiver poses a health risk. It says the listing of a Chicago sauna as a sponsor on the Gay Games website shows the event encourages reckless sexual behaviour. The people of Chicago should know we have a ban on HIV travellers, it’s there to protect citizens, and it’s not a wise move to remove the ban, Illinois Family Institute executive director Peter LaBarbera told the Sun-Times.Chicago’s mayor rejected claims of a health threat, as did Gay Games co- vice chair Kevin Boyer.He called the Illinois Family Institute abhorrent and irresponsible . . . fearmongering.The Illinois Family Institute strategy is to paint the Gay Games as nothing more than a series of stereotypes of gay sex. It’s a strategy that’s not true, Boyer said.It’s a sports and culture festival, and no amount of stereotypes and bigotry can change that.The Gay Games run from 15 to 22 July. Organisers hope to attract about 12,000 participants.

© Star Observer 2017 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.