Home Gay News LGBTIQ+ groups withdraw support for Gay Games 2026

LGBTIQ+ groups withdraw support for Gay Games 2026

València's right-far right coalition city government cited as major reason

by John Stevens
A brightly colored logo made of interlocking Vs to make a multi-pointed star. Coloured red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, cyan, brown, pink, black and white. Below this in black lettering "València Gay Games 2026" with the A's stylised without a cross bar. Below this in purple lettering "The Dream Comes True"

Several LGBTIQ+ groups have withdrawn support for the upcoming 2026 Gay Games in València, Spain. València Diversity Foundation (FVD) and its three member entities (Lambda, Avegal and Dracs) have all withdrawn from the executive and organizational committees for the event occurring in June 2026.

The FVD, Lambda, Avegal and Dracs have cited “unacceptable changes to the organizational structures of the Games,” as one of the primary reasons for withdrawing their support. They also are claiming that current agreements would force them to “bear the legal and financial consequences of the local government” and the local government having “undertaken financial cuts and attacks on the LGBTQ+ rights of local people, businesses and entities.” The withdrawal, these entities claim, “is a measure necessary and solely responsible to protect the original project of the Gay Games València 2026.”

The FGG Response

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) has responded to these concerns in a press release stating that the local LGBTIQ+ entities are incorrect in their assessment of the organizational structure and any fiscal and legal consequences from the actions of the right-leaning coalition city government of the People’s Party (PP) and VOX parties. VOX, a far-right populist party, has advocated for the erosion of abortion access, hard-line immigration policies, Islamophobic “pinkwashing” while also opposing “LGBTIQ ideology” and civil rights. PP, a christian democratic liberal party, most recently stripped protections for transpeople in the Madrid region in December 2023.

Media officer Duncan Campbell claims that the FGG have “gain[ed] assurances from them [the city council] about commitment to funding, availability of government-owned sports and culture venues, and the confirmation that participants will be able to attend and compete as their authentic selves.” They have also received confirmation that the local government has allowed equal voting rights between themselves and the LGBTIQ+ entities, across the organization of the games.

RELATED LINK: SafeHome.Org’s LGBTIQ+ Safety Report Ranks US States

The FGG have further argued that “hosting the Gay Games in València is an incredible opportunity for the local LGBTIQ+ community”, and that it has “a moral and ethical responsibility to remain visible and provide a platform to highlight the needs of our community.”

Is It Worth It to Stay In València?

However the FGG has accepted the withdrawal and stated they “deeply empathize with their [the LGBTIQ+ entities] frustrations with the local government and wholeheartedly support their decision to not work with them.”

“The last thing we want as an organization is that local LGBTIQ+ entities do not support our event in their city,” said FGG co-presidents Jan Schneider and Joanie Evans to the Gay Games stakeholders on Monday, May 27.

If the recent European elections are anything to go by, the far-right is growing strong in Europe; mainly in this writer’s view from the centrist liberal attitudes of open-democracy and lack of long-term successful solutions to economic issues. This allows opportunist populist talking points advocated by far-right parties to take hold.

Although visibility is important, visibility should never be conditional on having to associate yourself with people who if not for the economic benefit of a global event, would advocate for your death or at the very least make your life miserable. Consider the words of Martin Niemöller, the German Luthern Paster whose confessional prose in Frankfurt, 1946 was the inspiration for the poetic confessional “First they came…”.

*the assessment of the political position of these parties was stated in FGG Communications Officer Duncan Campbell’s press release

Sources: Bay Area Reporter, CNN, Federation of Gay Games, Reuters

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1 comment

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