London Evening Standard says ‘Give us the Gay Games’

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The London Evening Standard has used an editorial to argue the case for the capital to host the 2018 Gay Games – ahead of next month’s decision.

In a short column titled “Give us the Gay Games” the paper said: “London is making a bid next month to host the 2018 Gay Games, a festival of sport that embraces activities from football to ballroom dancing. It has been held since 1982 and has athletes from up to 70 nations.

“London’s competitors in the bid are Paris and Limerick, a small historic city in the west of Ireland with a problematic violent crime record. Paris is another matter but the sheer success of the London Olympics is the strongest case for us to host other sporting events: we know we can do it.”

The Standard concluded: “The case for hosting the Games is economic as well as social; the advent of so many people to the capital will be a useful boost to business. London welcomes the pink pound. The event promises some of the spectacle of the Olympics without the burdensome security and weight of expectation. It would also be enormous fun.”

In July, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said hosting the Gay Games in 2018 would make a huge difference to the perception of LGBT people and sport. 

Speaking exclusively to at a visit of the judging committee in south-west London, the Liberal Democrat leader said: “Oh I think it can make a huge difference absolutely. I suspect that if we get the Games here in 2018 – [and] I very much hope the inspectors who I have met myself this morning do find in our favour when they make their decision this autumn – I think if we do get the Games here, I think you’ll find many, many more people will come and just join in with the event and come and look at the events, and become spectators [far more so] than we anticipate right now.”

High profile backers of the bid include Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson,London’s Mayor Boris Johnson and House of Commons Speaker John Bercow.

The Federation of Gay Games will make its decision on 7 October.

The London Evening Standard has become a strong supporter of LGBT causes in recent years. The Standard announced its backing for equal marriage in an editorial published last summer.

Amid a Tory parliamentary rebellion, the paper urged David Cameron to stick with the policy in May 2013, in order to be seen as a “conviction politician”.