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Scottish sporting bodies sign up to charter tackling homophobia

The SFA and sportscotland among signatories to Scottish LGBT sports charter.

Hampden Park
SNS Group

A new charter is being launched with the aim of tackling homophobia in sport.

It will also set out principles for better inclusion for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scottish sport.

The Equality Network unveiled the Scottish LGBT sports charter on Wednesday during an event at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA), sportscotland, Team Scotland, Scottish Athletics and Waterski Scotland are among the first sports and governing bodies to sign up.

The new charter includes a set of five principles which aim to remove the barriers to sport for LGBT people and tackle homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport.

It was developed in response to the findings of the Equality Network's 2012 Out for Sport report which revealed that three-fifths of people surveyed believed homophobia to be a problem in sport.

The study found 62% of LGBT respondents have either witnessed or experienced homophobia or transphobia in sport while only 5% thought enough was being done to tackle the issue.

More than half of LGBT people (57%) said they would be more likely to participate in sport if it was more LGBT-friendly.

Scott Cuthbertson, development co-ordinator of the Equality Network, said: "We know through our research that LGBT people in Scotland still face significant barriers to full inclusion in sport.

"The launch of the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter is an important step to addressing those barriers and commits those involved in the delivery of sport to taking practical action to tackle discrimination and increase LGBT involvement.

"By proactively challenging prejudice whenever it occurs, visibly supporting LGBT inclusion and training staff in LGBT issues, we know that the efforts of sports bodies will play a crucial role in ensuring that Scottish sport is a safe and welcoming environment for all."

The Equality Network developed the charter in consultation with sports governing bodies and LGBT people.

It commits signatories to taking practical action to ensure that "Scotland will be a country where everyone can take part, enjoy and succeed in sport at all levels whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity".

The five principles include a commitment for sports organisations to take steps to actively involve LGBT people in sport and challenge homophobic and transphobic behaviour.

The charity is hoping the number of sports bodies signed up to the charter will increase further over the coming months.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "The Scottish FA is proud to sign this charter and is committed to increasing accessibility and opportunities for all.

"The national sport will work in partnership to engage and inspire the LGBT community."

Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, the national agency for sport, said: "At sportscotland we are building a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland and we view this charter as an important step in that journey.

"It is good to see sports governing bodies signing up to this charter and proving their commitment to make sport inclusive and fair."

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