When the Federation of Gay Games selected Cleveland as the host of the 2014 Gay Games, many hoped the move would help reach out to people of the bellwether Midwest state. They seem to be doing just that.

The United Church of Christ is a silver sponsor of the Gay Games in Cleveland. Silver is the fourth highest level of sponsorship (of 11 levels). From the UCC Web site:

Sandy Sorensen and the Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer will run, swim and golf in the spirit of competition against other athletes from across North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand from Aug. 9 to Aug. 16 – all to demonstrate the UCC commitment to inclusion, diversity, justice and human rights.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to participate in the Gay Games, and just having the opportunity to compete with other members of the LGBT community," said Sorensen, director of the UCC's Justice and Witness Ministries office in Washington, D.C. "I don't have particular goals in mind. Being there and participating is exciting for me. It's a chance to celebrate sports and the LGBT community in Cleveland, where our UCC headquarters are."

The UCC is the first religious denomination to be a major sponsor of the Gay Games. It's a strong statement for the legacy of this Gay Games to have an entire denomination embrace the event. Kudos to everyone involved!

The Gay Games take place in Cleveland Aug. 9-16.


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