SPORTS & ACTIVITIES

Montreal OutGames: Opening ceremonies

Photo Credit: Montreal 2006 (OSA)
Lesbian tennis legend Martina Navratilova and Canadian Olympic gold medal swimmer Mark Tewksbury presented the Declaration of Montreal to the athletes representing 111 countries.

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right," they said, quoting from the first sentence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They went on to remind those present of the main points of the Declaration.

"Brothers and sisters from all around the world, we are Muslims, Christian, Jews, non-believers, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs. We are humans!" With that, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay declared the Games officially open.

Even famous Quebecoise singer Celine Dion made remarks at the ceremonies, albeit by video clip.

"The 1st World OutGames in Montreal are a wonderful occasion to celebrate the love that binds us," she said. "It is a celebration of sport, culture and human rights in a spirit of true inclusion regardless of sexual orientation. I know in my heart that the 1st World OutGames in Montreal will be an unforgettable moment in our struggle for tolerance."