The government has been urged to do more to facilitate the Gay Games scheduled to be held in Hong Kong next year, after a lawmaker reported that organizers were having a tough time booking venues for the event, RTHK reports.
New People’s Party chairwoman Regina Ip told a Legco meeting on Wednesday that the games would not only bring economic benefits to the territory – as participants and spectators will be coming from more than a hundred countries – but would also show that Hong Kong is a city that respects diversity and equality.
The international sports and cultural event is scheduled to take place between November 11-19 next year – the first time it would be held in the Asia Pacific region.
The event is held every four years and its 36 sports and cultural events are open to all ages and genders.
Organizers say they’re expecting 12,000 participants, 75,000 spectators and 3,000 volunteers from 100 countries to converge in Hong Kong for the games in 2022.
But Ip said she understands that organizers are having difficulties booking venues, as most local sports associations here are unwilling to rent them out.
“The organizers said that they need 56 venues, and half of them are still not available,” Ip said.
In response, Home Affairs Secretary Caspar Tsui said the government will see what it can do to help.
“We will see what they need and we’ll contact them to see what we can do under the present established procedures,” he said.
“Unlike international multi-sports games in general, GG2022 is not a sports event recognized by the International Olympic Committee, the Olympic Council of Asia, or any international sports federation, neither the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee nor the National Sports Associations will send athletes to participate in the competitions. “Tsui added.
Meanwhile, DAB lawmaker Holden Chow warned that hosting the games in Hong Kong could give rise to “social disputes” over LGBT issues.
“The government should also assess when this event is being held in Hong Kong, what will be the response of the general public… when we talk about LGBT issues, we may actually touch on same sex marriage, and may actually give rise to dispute within the society.” said Chow.