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Australian Rugby Union HQ becomes caretaker of the Bingham Cup Trophy

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Australian Rugby Union has today become one of the first national sporting organisations in the world to be presented with a gay sporting trophy, after members of the reigning Bingham Cup Champions, the Sydney Convicts handed over the Bingham Cup.

The Bingham Cup – also known as the Gay Rugby World Cup – will be proudly displayed in the trophy cabinet at Australian Rugby Union headquarters until Bingham Cup 2014 in Sydney next year.
Bingham Cup 2014 official ambassador, Qantas Wallaby David Pocock joined Australian Rugby Union (ARU) CEO Bill Pulver to accept the Bingham Cup trophy at the official handover ceremony in Sydney today.

The event follows ARU’s announcement in August this year to develop an Inclusion Policy aimed at strengthening Australian Rugby’s commitment to stamp out discrimination and homophobia in Rugby.

The policy will be finalised before the Bingham Cup event in Sydney in August 2014.

ARU CEO, Bill Pulver also presented Bingham Cup 2014 President and founder of the Sydney Convicts, Andrew Purchas with an official letter of support for the Bingham Cup 2014 event.

Purchas said he was proud ARU had become one of the first to show this support and is delighted the Bingham Cup trophy will be on display in Australian Rugby’s trophy cabinet.

“Handing the Bingham Cup to be displayed at the home of Australian Rugby Union is extremely significant for the Sydney Convicts and gay Rugby around the world.

“ARU’s support has been very impressive. They’ve been instrumental in helping us to bring the Bingham Cup tournament to Australia next year.

“I’m hopeful the Sydney Convicts can keep the Bingham Cup here in Australia but I think many will be surprised and impressed by the high quality of international Rugby on display in what will be an intense competition,” Purchas said.

ARU CEO, Bill Pulver said accepting the trophy is a symbol of Australian Rugby’s support for the Bingham Cup and tackling homophobia in sport.

“As an international Rugby trophy owned by our very own Sydney Convicts, we’re proud to have it on display in our trophy cabinet here at Rugby HQ.

“Today’s event goes hand in hand with our initial announcement, which made Australian Rugby one of the first to announce a commitment to develop an Inclusion Policy.

“In addition to this, we’ve presented the Bingham Cup 2014 organisers with an official letter which underlines our ongoing commitment to support their initiatives to stamp out all forms of discrimination and homophobia in our game.

“Hopefully we can keep the Bingham Cup here next year and continue to add more international Rugby trophies to our collection,” Pulver said.

LA Dodgers put on LGBTQ Game Night

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The Los Angeles Dodgers has announced its first LGBT night, to be held September 27.

The Dodgers’ LGBT Night OUT will feature “a celebrity First Pitch” and “the National Anthem performed by a surprise guest with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles,” according to an announcement on the team’s website. There will be fireworks after the Friday night game, in which the Dodgers play the Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers are partnering with Tom Whitman of Flip Events for the event. He said the Dodgers "have been standing on the right side of history from the days of Jackie Robinson through today."

Dodgers executive Lon Rosen issued a statement saying, “We welcome all fans to Dodger Stadium throughout each season. We are especially proud to welcome and recognize the LGBT community of Los Angeles, an integral part of the city and of the Dodgers community.”

Other major league teams have hosted similar events.


LA Galaxy signs first openly gay player

According to the Associated Press, out gay footballer Robbie Rogers will be returning to professional soccer, joining the LA Galaxy and becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in the MLS:

"I don't know what I was so afraid of," Rogers said Friday. "It's been such a positive experience for me. The one thing I've learned from all of this is being gay is not that big of a deal to people."

"People are just really growing and accepting and loving," he added. "Those other things are just not that important to them. I think as the younger get older and the generations come and go, I think times are just becoming more accepting."

Nike sponsors openly gay athlete

Basketball's Brittney Griner has been snapped up by global sporting giant, NIKE for an endorsement deal.


Without much fanfare, the WNBA draft pick spoke about her sexuality in a Sports Illustrated interview last week.


Playing for the Phoenix Mercury player has just signed an endorsement deal with Nike, making the confirmation public with USA Today via her sports agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas.


As noted by SheWired, Griner described the deal as "big time."


Last June, Nike hosted its first-ever lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sports summit in Portland, Oregon.




Miami awarded 2017 worldOutgames

Miami Beach, Florida, will host the 2017 World Outgames, an international sporting event that is organized to help advance gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender human rights around the world.


The decision was taken by a committee in the presence of mayors from both finalist cities, including Mrs. Matti Bower, Mayor of the City of Miami Beach and Mr. Jon Gnarr, Mayor of Reykjavik. “The selection process required a lot of effort, the visit in Antwerp has been very exhilarating, and we are ready to put on an amazing event in 2017” said Mayor Bower. "Our members had to choose between two fabulous cities this evening. Miami Beach and Reykjavik are very different from each other but each is equally exciting in its own way,” said Paul Brummitt of the Gay and Lesbian International Sport Association (GLISA). GLISA organizes the World OutGames and Paul is chair of its Site Selection Committee. GLISA co-president Daniel Vaudrin added “By winning the 2017 World Outgames, Miami has beaten fierce and worthy competition from major cities around the world. It is wonderful that such influential cities support our endeavour of raising human rights issues through sports.

 “It was a very inclusive and democratic decision-making process, with members connecting by videoconference from as far afield as Australasia, Mexico, and Tonga,” Vaudrin explained. “We are thrilled that Miami Beach and the voters are offering us the opportunity to organize the World Outgames in the United States. Miami is a particularly important place for us to be raising gay, lesbian and bisexual human rights issues because of its strong links to Latin America and the on-going political discourse within the US itself.”


The first World Outgames was held in 2006 in Montreal and attracted more than 12,000 participants. The event was based on three components: Sport, Culture and Human Rights.


The second World Outgames was held in Copenhagen in 2009. It was an attractive, open and inclusive event that welcomed the local and international LGBT community as well s the wider population of Copenhagen and Denmark. “We’re thrilled that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes will have the opportunity to build on the human rights legacy of Copenhagen and Montreal.


It is wonderful that Miami Beach will be carrying the flame of our international community in 2017,” Vaudrin said. In the meantime, the next edition of World Outgames will be hosted this year in Antwerp, Belgium, from 31 July to 11 August.


President Obama Endorses Orlando for Gay Games

Orlando wants to host the 2018 Gay Games and President Obama seems to think that's a good idea.


    “I am pleased to voice my support for the City of Orlando’s bid to host the Gay Games 2018,” the president said in a letter to Orlando 2018, the organization working on the bid. “As President of the United States, I am committed to advancing equality for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community, both in America and around the world,” he said. Mikael Audebert, project director for Orlando 2018, said Obama’s endorsement letter is believed to mark the first time a U.S. president has expressed support for the Gay Games or any LGBT event of that size.


Cleveland will host the 2014 Gay Games and some observers believe it's unlikely that an American city would be chosen twice in a row. The most recent Games were held in Cologne, Germany and previous host cities include Chicago, Sydney, Amsterdam, New York City, Vancouver, and San Francisco.


Obama's letter includes this message: “Orlando’s vibrant tourism industry makes it ideally suited to host a record-breaking number of more than 200,000 attendees – including over 14,000 athletes – and the city would be honored to provide the guests and athletes a wonderful, unique experience. I strongly support Orlando’s bid, and I urge the Federation of Gay Games to approve it.”

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