Alex Salmond pushed to condemn homophobic laws in the Commonwealth
Ahead of the launch of the Commonwealth Games today in Glasgow, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has been urged to reject anti-gay laws.
Noting that there are still 42 Commonwealth nations where being gay can lead to a prison sentence, human rights campaign group the Peter Tatchell foundation asked Mr Salmond to condemn anti-gay laws.
The foundation also asked Mr Salmond to welcome LGBT athletes to Glasgow.
“We urge him to appeal to all participating countries to adhere to Article 7 of the Commonwealth Games Federation constitution, which prohibits all discrimination,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“Countries that refuse to support Article 7 – or that perpetuate discrimination in access to sports facilities, training camps or team selection – should be barred from participating in the Commonwealth Games. If they are not prepared to abide by Article 7 they have no right to come to Glasgow or future Commonwealth Games.
“Eighty per cent of Commonwealth countries discriminate against LGBTI people. The intensity of homophobia in these countries is so great that it is very unlikely that they would select a LGBTI athlete to compete in Glasgow. I can’t imagine homophobic states like Uganda, Brunei or Nigeria selecting a LGBTI athlete. They are more likely to jail them than send them to Glasgow.
“In addition, there is widespread gender and ethnic discrimination in many Commonwealth countries, which also inhibits equal, open and fair selection for the national teams coming to Glasgow.
“The Commonwealth Games organisers need to take a tougher line against countries that discriminate. Although the Glasgow 2014 administrators are commendably committed to equality and diversity, they have disappointingly not agreed to the Peter Tatchell Foundation’s request to require all participating nations to sign a pledge to uphold Article 7,” said Mr Tatchell.
The Peter Tatchell Foundation has also written to the Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, David Grevemberg to urging all Commonwealth nations to sign a nondiscrimination. pledge.