Peter Tatchell praised Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland for his pioneering statement given in Glasgow on LGBTI rights on Tuesday.
“Alex Salmond’s statement of support for gay rights at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is a first. The leader of no other host government at either the Commonwealth or Olympic Games has ever made such a positive pro-gay equality statement and backed it up with concrete visible support by flying the gay rainbow flag from government headquarters for the duration of the Games.
“This is a pioneering, trail-blazing statement by the leader of the host nation,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.
“I applaud Alex Salmond for making such a strong, affirrmative commitment to the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people throughout the Commonwealth. For LGBTI communities in the 42 Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is still criminalised, this is a significant gesture of solidarity. It will comfort them and, I hope, discomfort their homophobic governments. It demonstrates the Scottish government’s commitment to a truly equal and inclusive Games,” added Mr Tatchell.
Earlier this week human rights activists from around the Commonwealth have called for action on homophobia in the Commonwealth, while Peter Tatchell has directly called upon the First Minister to condemn it.
Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond, made his statement as a response to question by a member of the international media in Glasgow covering the Commonwealth Games.
In his response on Tuesday, he said Scotland demonstrates its commitment to LGBTI rights through its words and actions.
Salmond said: “We set an example by what we do. As you probably know, our Sports Minister opened Pride House in Glasgow that will have its message of equality and non-discrimination displayed, not just at its centre but also throughout the 70 events that are taking place as part of that initiative in Glasgow over the course of the Games.
“Also over St Andrew’s House, we are flying the Rainbow flag, sometimes called the Pride flag internationally, during the course of the Games to demonstrate our commitment and to provide an example in terms of what we believe in. I think this is the best way to state our commitment, by what we do and how we act and what we display and what we advocate.”
Tatchell further added: “It’s great that the Scottish government is flying the rainbow flag from it’s headquarters for the duration of the Games. This is a simple but important gesture and act of solidarity with the millions of LGBTI people who still suffer criminalisation, discrimination and mob violence in 80% of Commonwealth countries.
“Not even the London or UK governments managed to do this during the 2012 Olympics. Glasgow’s gone one better than London. Bravo!”