The Crystal Lake Park District in Chicago has given in to residents complaints by turning down the Gay Games request to host its rowing event in the area.

Illinois residents filed complaints last week with the Crystal Lake Park District over plans to allow this summer’s Gay Games to host a rowing event in the area.

The Crystal Lake Park Director, Kirk Reimer told the Northwest Herald he had received letters and anonymous calls opposing a rowing competition on Crystal Lake. Statements have included accusing the games of having a “homosexual agenda.”

Gay Games organisers applied to have the competition’s proposal to have its rowing competition on Crystal Lake, in Chicago on July 16. Mr Reimer told the Northwest Herald: “Some people are just very funny about it To me, this is just another event that will be on the lake.”

Games officials believe the opposition is an excuse to discriminate against the gay and lesbian community. Kevin Boyer, co-vice-chairman of the Gay Games Chicago board, said: “For some people I’ve heard that are opposed to this, it’s about discrimination and stereotypes and opposition to the gay and lesbian community.”

The rowing event is one of the smaller events of 30 Gay Games sports, which are expected to draw 12,000 people to the Chicago area July 15-22. The Gay Games are also open to heterosexuals.