Scottish Government pledges action against homophobia in sport

Joseph McCormick June 5, 2013
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The Scottish Government has pledged to tackle homophobia in sport by creating a charter for LGBT people, in order to help address the issue.

Scottish Sports Minister and MSP for Dundee City East Shona Robison, announced that a national group is to be set up in order to set into motion an action plan aiming to work for better inclusion.

The announcement follows a report from 2012, which revealed that 62% of LGBT people had suffered discrimination, or seen discrimination, in sport.

“There should be no barriers at all to participating in sport and the Commonwealth Games provides a fantastic opportunity to promote equality,” Ms Robison said.

“Yet the Equality Network’s Out for Sport report – the biggest research to date on homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport – highlighted problems in attitudes that still exist.

“We take homophobia very seriously so I welcome the Out for Sport recommendation to develop an action plan to tackle prejudice, put in place diversity strategies and to monitor progress.”

Scott Cuthbertson, Community Development Coordinator for the Equality Network, which published last year’s report welcomed the announcement.

“The Out for Sport report reveals for the first time the extent of homophobia and transphobia experienced in Scottish sport,” he said.

“We welcome the strong commitment from the Scottish Government and sportscotland to tackling this issue, ensuring LGBT people can play a full and active role in the sporting life of Scotland.”

Ms Robison said that governing bodies in sport should have “clear policies” in place, in order to protect LGBT people.

An LGBT sports charter will also be set up in order to allow governing bodies to “support and promote to their members, to help spread the inclusion message.”

Convener of the SNP’s LGBT Wing, Stewart McDonald said: “The Scottish Government has made clear today that they take the issue of homophobia and transphobia in sport extremely seriously, and I look forward to hearing exactly how the Minister will address that with the national sports body, Sport Scotland, and other organisations.

“We are living in 21st Century Scotland, yet in some quarters medieval attitudes towards gay people are the norm. Homophobia is, in many ways, viewed as the last acceptable prejudice and until that is no longer the case then we must keep on working and campaigning to change people’s attitudes.”

More: athlete, coming out, equality network, homophobia in sport, Scotland, Scotland, Sport features

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