Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A sports camp to teach boys not to be gay. Huh?

A fascinating article about yet another Christian attack on homosexuals, this time young (maybe) gay men. The article features comments from Gay Games Ambassador Billy Bean:

This weekend a group of men will gather at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary to how learn to throw a spiral, make a three-point shot and hit a long ball — and to resist homosexual urges.

Courage, a Catholic group that encourages people with same-sex attraction to remain celibate, is holding its 13th annual sports camp in which “men physically compete on the field while enriching their souls through a daily regimen of prayer, confessions, mass, and the Liturgy of the Hours,” according to the group’s website.

“They think that in offering people with same sex attraction the chance to learn how to play sports they will learn to be manlier,” said Ed Coffin, director of Peace Advocacy Network, a Philadelphia group which plans to protest outside the seminary on City and E. Wynnewood Avenues Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The camp runs today through Sunday. Previous camps have attracted several dozen men from across the country.

“It’s a ludicrous assertion. There are many, many out gay athletes and many gay men who play sports,” he said.

Courage director Rev. Paul Check did not return a call for comment. A member of the local chapter said Rev. Check had given the sports camp coordinators permission to speak but that they declined.

The member, who asked not to be identified, said the weekend was a “tutorial sports event” and “not some sort of brainwashing camp that tries to make someone into something they’re not.”

He also said all different kinds of people were expected to attend, including married men “who had this issue in the past” and those who face “social blockades” because of their ineptitude when it came to sports. While no drinking is allowed, according to the registration form, in previous years participants celebrated at the end of the week with cigars and cognac.

The Courage website says it helps people with same sex attraction — the word gay is not used — develop “an interior life of chastity ... and move beyond the confines of the homosexual identity.” It is filled with advice from doctors, psychologists and ordinary people on living a chaste single life.

However, some of those affiliated with the group believe that people can change their sexual orientation. Therapist Paul Kleponis of the Institute for Marital Healing in West Conshohocken has said at Courage conferences that he believes homosexuality was rooted in childhood rejection and trauma and that through therapy people could develop an attraction for the opposite sex. He declined to comment for this story.

Some of that rejection, at least for men, can be linked to failure at sports, the group maintains. Robert Fitzgibbons, a therapist who runs the Marital Institute and has written extensively about what he calls healing homosexual attraction, said in an article on the Catholic Education Resource Center that boys who are rejected because they can’t play sports “begin to identify with the female instead of the male.”

At the root of the problem, he contends, is poor eye-hand coordination. Fitzgibbons spoke at a 2006 sports camp in St. Louis.

“Fortunately, Catholic spirituality, combined with good psychotherapy, can result in a complete healing of those with this disorder,” he wrote in a paper presented at the Conference on Family and Education in Toronto in 1996.

His secretary said he was unavailable for comment yesterday.

The camp is being held following a week of strong criticism of antigay, or conversion therapy. The California state legislature is debating a bill to ban the therapy as dangerous and the World Health Organization called it “a serious threat to the health and well-being — and even the lives — of affected people.”

Then the psychiatrist Dr. Robert Spitzer, author of acontroversial 2001 study that claimed that some highly motivated gay people could become heterosexual with therapy, this week said he was wrong and apologized to the gay community.

“It’s been a really bad week for this whole movement to change one’s sexual orientation,” said Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, which fights against antigay theory and religious extremism.

The idea that gay people are bad at sports “is an insult to common sense and is contradicted by reality,” he said. “The idea that sports has anything to do with one’s sexuality is confusing science with stereotypes.”

Billy Bean, a former Major League baseball player who made headlines when he came out as gay in 1999 and wrote about his experience — including dealing with the sudden death of his partner — in the book, Going the Other Way, said in an e-mail that Courage’s take on sports “is discrimination and archaic stereotypical belief, that is inexcusable. We are born the way we are born. I find it heartbreaking that anyone would subject a young man into believing he should suppress who he is, in a way that is so potentially damaging.”

Now a Miami realtor, he also said he “could bring 1000 male athletes, who happen to be gay, that would disprove this ridiculous organization.”

Keep reading HERE.

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