Scotland flies rainbow flag for Commonwealth Games
Jul25

Scotland flies rainbow flag for Commonwealth Games

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 25 July 2014 12:28 Written by // Ron Hughes

The Scottish government is flying the rainbow flag during the Commonwealth Games in support of LGBTI rights in participating countries and throughout the world.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond was previously criticised for not mentioning LGBTI rights during his welcome speech at the opening ceremony, but has since made a strong statement to the press supporting equality.

“Our sports minister opened Pride Glasgow today, which will have its message of equality and non-discrimination displayed, not just in the opening of one centre in Pride Glasgow, but the 70 events which are taking place as part of that initiative in Glasgow over the course of the Games,” Salmond told an audience of international media in Glasgow.

“In St Andrew’s House [the seat of the Scottish Parliament] we fly the rainbow flag, sometimes called the pride flag internationally, for the course of the games.

“So, we demonstrate our commitment and we provide an exemplar in terms of what we believe in.

“That’s what I think is the best way to state our commitment, it’s by what we do and how we act and what we display and what we advocate.”

rainbowflag-st-andrews-house

Pictured: The rainbow flag flies outside St Andrew's House, Edinburgh.

Australian born UK based human rights activist Peter Tatchell applauded Salmond for his statement, describing the flying of the rainbow flag as “a pioneering, trail-blazing statement” by the host nation.

“I applaud Alex Salmond for making such a strong, affirmative commitment to the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people throughout the Commonwealth,” Tatchell said.

“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.”

“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,” Tatchell added.

“Not even the London or UK governments managed to do this during the 2012 Olympics. Glasgow's gone one better than London. Bravo!"

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Ron Hughes

Ron Hughes

Ron Hughes is the editor of SA's only LGBTI magazine, blaze.

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