International Human Rights Organizations Plan for Pride House Presence at 2016 European Football Championships

Pride House-01Activists from Scotland, England, Canada, and Russia to meet with French LGBT rights organizations at Pride House Summit in Paris

PARIS, FRANCE — Activists representing the organisations that delivered the last four Pride Houses are travelling to Paris, France for a Pride House Summit to be held on October 10, 2015. The meeting, which is part of the FARE #footballpeople Action Weeks, is open to all interested parties, and is intended to build on the momentum of the Pride House movement by empowering local organisations in host country France to deliver their own Pride House at the upcoming UEFA European Football Championships, taking place between June 10 and July 10, 2016.

“It was only five years ago that the first Pride House was held during the Vancouver and Whistler Winter Olympics,” says Pride House International co-ordinator Lou Englefield. “In that time, we’ve mobilised around the globe, making sure that there is a safe and welcoming space for LGBTIQ+ athletes, fans, and supporters at the largest international sporting events in the world.” This upcoming Euros in France, she added, will be the second time a Pride House was established for the event. “A Euro Pride House was delivered in Poland and Ukraine in 2012, and were heartened to see the impact there. Football is for everybody.”

The Pride House Summit will offer the opportunity to hear from Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Pride House organiser Hugh Torrance, Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Pride House Director Matthew Cutler, and Vancouver 2015 Women’s Football World Cup Pride House Organiser Dean Nelson, among others. Their presentations will be followed by a Q&A, and a discussion on plans for a Pride House at the 2016 European Football Championships. Finally, attendees will debate on potential Pride House activity at the Men’s Football World Cup 2018 in Russia, reflecting on action taken around Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic & Paralympic Games.

“In the vacuum left by the organizing bodies, Pride House has been very effective at creating an inclusive, educational, and inspiring space,” says Keph Senett, Pride House International governance sub-committee member. “And it’s clear, given the recent omission by the IOC to include a human rights clause in the host city contract for 2024, that there is still a desperate need for these kinds of spaces.”

The Pride House Summit will be held on October 10, starting at 13:00 at Salle de Conference Jean Dame, 17 Rue Leopold Bellan, 75002, Paris. The event will be held in English with French interpretation. There will be the opportunity to network and socialise with other participants following the summit.

Pride House International is a coalition of LGBT sport and human rights groups, including participants in past and future Pride Houses, united to promote the cause of equality in and by sport. This is achieved, in part, through the creation of Pride Houses at large-scale international sporting events such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games, the Panam/Parapanam Games, and the World Cup.

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The international Fare Network was set up to tackle discrimination in football and promote social inclusion in the game. The Football People action weeks (8-22 October 2015) are the largest campaign against discrimination in football. www.farenet.org

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