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Australian Football League publicly declares support for same-sex marriage

Joseph McCormick September 2, 2014
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The Australian Football League (AFL), has publicly declared its support for same-sex marriage.

The announcement was made by Gillion McLachlan, the league’s chief executive, in response to a letter from a mother who wrote in saying she has a gay son.

“If the AFL publicly declares that they are in support of marriage equality you will give that young player who is struggling with their sexuality the courage to realise just who they are,” the letter from Ms Faulkner read.

Mr McLachlan responded to say there is no place for homophobia in football, and said he would personally commit to continuing “to speak out in this area whenever I can.”

“The AFL will keep saying no matter how many times it takes, that our game does not tolerate discrimination in any form, be that sexual identity, gender, race (or) religious views … we also support the position of marriage equality for all people.

“This matter is a serious issue for many young gay people, in terms of how they are treated in the wider community, and football leaders such as myself will continue to say that we do not tolerate it, and will continue to push for a change in behaviour from all sections of society.”

Ms Faulkner commended the response, saying she hoped that club presidents across the AFL would take a similar stance.

She said: “The AFL’s policy of having no tolerance to discrimination in any form was heartening and for them to actually say that they support ‘the position of marriage equality for all people’ will make it so much easier for people to say ‘if the AFL and my football club can say no to discrimination and yes to equality, so can I’.”

The AFL has for years been committed to stamping out homophobia in sport, and has been involved with several initiatives to do so.

Related topics: athlete, athletics, Australia, Australian Football League, football, Sport features

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