Rights campaigners praised the Glasgow Commonwealth Games for their inclusiveness and highlighting LGBTI rights.
During games not only did the Scottish government fly the rainbow flag from St. Andrew’s House but the First Minister strongly back equality and inclusivity.
In addition, during the opening ceremony of the games LGBTI rights were highlighted with the “Glasgow Kiss,” televised live throughout the Commonwealth countries, of which 42 of the 53 members criminalise same-sex activity, denying people their basic human rights.
Both the Scottish government and Glasgow City Council funded and supported the two weeks long activities of Pride House Glasgow, the first of its kind during any Commonwealth Games.
Numerous celebrities, politicians, international LGBTI rights activists and leading charities participated in the activities of Pride House, raising many important issues, including inclusivity and diversity in sports, homophobia and transphobia throughout the Commonwealth as well as LGBTI families, to name a few.
The Scottish government has also highlighted the progressive values of inclusivity, diversity and rights by launching the One Scotland campaign, with the goal to promote LGBTI equality
The issue of LGBTI rights and discrimination was highlighted during an international conference hosted by the Equality Network and partner organisations on 18th July, in Glasgow, attended by over 150 human rights activists from across the globe.
In addition the Equality Network underlined the issues of sexuality and gender identity in member states through their ‘LGBTI People of the Commonwealth’ exhibition, which is still ongoing.
The Commonwealth Games were also highlighted by visibility of LGBTI sports people, such as Tom Daley, Matthew Mitcham – who won gold medals, and even straight allies such as Bowyn Morgan.
During closing ceremony Gay icon, Kylie Minogue performed Spinning Around, Into the Blue, Love At First Sight, All the Lovers, The Locomotion, Beautiful and Can’t Get You Out of My Head.
Scott Cuthbertson, Community Development Coordinator for the Equality Network, told KaleidoScot: “In no previous games has the visibility and inclusion of LGBTI people been so high. 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.”
Human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell also praised the legacy of raising LGBTI equality and diversity throughout the Glasgow Commonwealth Games: “This equality message has not only gone out in Scotland and the rest of the UK but also to athletes and visitors from Commonwealth countries – as well as being reported in the media of some of the member states.
“It’s been incredibly successful and inspiring. Well done Scotland”, said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Matthew Cutler, Project Director, Pride House Toronto said that Glasgow left an inspiring legacy that will inspire the Pan Americans Games, scheduled to be held in the city in 2015.