Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, today published an open letter to organisers of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games calling for all participating countries to sign a non-discrimination pledge.
Published on the Peter Tatchell Foundation website, Mr Tatchell’s letter calls for a commitment against discrimination from all participating countries of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Commenting that “prejudice, discrimination and legal victimisation are prevalent” in many of the competing countries, he questioned the effectiveness of the current anti-discrimination policies safeguarding the Games.
Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games Constitution aims to prevent discrimination on the basis of “race, colour, gender, religion or politics”. Mr Tatchell proposes that all nations sign a pledge in accordance with Article 7, “but with expanded grounds of non-discrimination such as ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Addressed to David Grevemberg, CEO of the 2014 games, the letter calls for the games to be a competition “where athletes compete solely on the basis of merit” with a “culture of equality”.
Taking place in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August, 70 nations will compete. Tatchell highlights that 41 of the 53 commonwealth nations criminalise homosexuality – convictions can result in life imprisonment in certain countries, and the death penalty in others.
While Tatchell acknowledges that Glasgow2014 cannot interfere with the laws of these countries he argues that “it does have a responsibility to ensure that there is no discrimination by participating nations in the selection of their national teams.”