Sunday , 19 January 2020

Straight New Zealand boxer backs Scotland’s message of LGBTI equality

Bowyn Morgan backs Scotland's message of inclusivity and equality
Bowyn Morgan backs Scotland’s message of inclusivity and equality

Bowyn Morgan, a straight boxer from New Zealand told KaleidoScot he supports the message of inclusivity and tolerance of the Scottish Government during the Commonwealth Games.

The 25 year-old boxer and dad from Christchurch said he “welcomes” the messages of inclusivity from First Minister Alex Salmond and the OneScotland campaign and was “happy to engage” on the matter.

He said he was “shocked” to learn that athletes from 42 of the 53 Commonwealth countries could potentially be excluded from competing if found out to be LGBTI.

“There should be no discrimination in sports, no one should be excluded on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other issue,” he said.

“These [42] countries should give everyone an equal chance and stop discriminating.”

Bowyn Morgan giving Scotland's message of LGBTI inclusivity - thumbs up
Bowyn Morgan giving Scotland’s message of LGBTI inclusivity – thumbs up

He added: “In sports, laws and social attitudes, New Zealand is a very welcoming and progressive country with regards to gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity.”

In relation to the anti-LGBTI laws in 80% of the Commonwealth member countries, he said that was “unacceptable and disgusting.”

Speaking with KaleidoScot, Hugh Torrance, chair of LEAP sports and of Pride House Glasgow welcomed Bowyn Morgan’s statement, saying it “reflects that of the greatest majority of visitors to Pride House over the course of the Games.

“The international reception to Scotland’s position on inclusion and equality for LGBTI communities has been warmly received.

“We’re proud that Scotland has been able to give such strong clear messages about what equality means in this country, and instead of preaching to other countries, have set an example.”

Tim Hopkins of the Equality Network told KaleidoScot that “Bowyn Morgan’s views are a welcome example of the support that many people outwith the LGBTI communities give to LGBTI equality. That’s true here in Scotland, and around the world.

“We are not, fundamentally, LGBTI or otherwise; we are all simply human, and we all deserve human rights,” added Hopkins.

“It’s great to have straight athlete allies supporting LGBTI rights,” commented human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

“Homophobia and transphobia are issues on which everyone should speak out.

“Building a LGBTI-straight alliance is the key to winning equality and human rights.

“It is especially commendable this New Zealand boxer has expressed his support for our struggle; all the more so because boxing has traditionally been a very macho, hetrosexist sport.”

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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