Weeks after rejecting accusations their event posed an HIV risk, Chicago Gay Games organisers are facing fresh criticism from conservatives -“ this time over the staging of a rowing event.Gay Games officials want to hold their rowing competition in Crystal Lake, a small community about 80 kilometres from Chicago.But some Crystal Lake residents -“ who call their area a G-rated place with a family-values kind of atmosphere -“ have other ideas.They are pushing for the Gay Games rowing competition in July to be staged elsewhere, Associated Press reported.Last month district authorities gave the green light to the rowing event on Crystal Lake. It must now win approval from the city council and officials from a nearby area, who say they plan to back the event.However, letter writers to a local Crystal Lake newspaper have voiced their opposition.Make no mistake: The purpose of the Gay Games is to legitimize homosexuality and make it appear as a wholesome lifestyle choice, one letter writer, Tim Coakley, said.Coakley told Associated Press his family lived in Crystal Lake because of its family-values kind of atmosphere.A second local resident, Sunita Stone, said Crystal Lake was G-rated and no place for a Gay Games event.There’s no reason to start making things racy. If you want to go to Chicago to do that, that’s fine. I’m not going to go there.Another letter writer took a different view, asking if Crystal Lake should be known as the Homophobic Capital of the Midwest.How proud are we to live in such a narrow-minded, backward, hateful community?Gay Games co-vice chair Kevin Boyer said the sporting event was about removing stereotypes of gay people.You are going to say this is not right, and this is why the Gay Games are needed, he told Associated Press.Crystal Lake mayor Aaron Shepley said the rowing dispute showed the Gay Games could prompt social debate.To the extent that part of the agenda of [Gay Games] promoters was to draw attention to a social platform, they’ve been successful, he said. And to an extent it’s been at the expense of Crystal Lake’s image.Last month the Gay Games faced criticism from a conservative family values group, which said HIV-positive international athletes at the event would pose a public health threat.Gay Games organisers dismissed the claims as fearmongering.The Chicago Gay Games run from 15 to 22 July.

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