Glasgow Commonwealth Games hailed as ‘new benchmark’ for inclusivity

Nick Duffy August 4, 2014
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The Glasgow Commonwealth Games have been praised for commitment to LGBT equal ity.

The Equality Network hailed the multiple tributes to inclusiveness throughout the Games.

Despite 42 of 53 Commonwealth countries criminalising homosexuality, the Games’ opening ceremony featured a kiss between actor John Barrowman and a male dancer.

The Scottish government also flew a rainbow flag from its headquarters for the duration of the Commonwealth Games, while Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond also issued a statement condemning homophobia.

It also saw the first ever Pride House at the Commonwealth Games, following the success of Pride Houses at both the Vancouver and London Olympics.

Scott Cuthbertson of the Equality Network said: “The Glasgow Commonwealth Games set a new benchmark on inclusion and visibility of LGBTI people.

“From the new ‘Glasgow kiss’, leadership on LGBTI issues from the top of the Scottish Government, and rainbow flags being flown across Scotland, to opportunities to talk about the Commonwealth human rights record on LGBTI equality, the Glasgow 2014 games have set a standard for LGBTI visibility and inclusiveness which we hope future games will build upon.

“There is much to be done by the Commonwealth Secretariat and member countries to ensure human rights for LGBTI people across the globe, and we hope the Glasgow 2014 Games will be seen as part of a movement for positive change. We’re already reaching out to LGBTI groups in Gold Coast in the hope momentum is kept up [for the 2018 Games].”

Matthew Cutler of PrideHouse Toronto said: “When the vast majority of Commonwealth states criminalize homosexuality, and as millions watch live, it is no small feat to show same-sex affection and to celebrate same-sex marriage in the opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.

“As we prepare for the 2105 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games in Toronto, we will look to the Glaswegian games as a strong example of how multi-sport games can provide a platform to advance inclusion and human rights for LGBT people.”

The games also saw the success of out athletes, with Tom Daley taking home a gold medal, and out athletes taking both gold and silver medals in one event.

Related topics: England, Scotland

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