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U.K. Takes Steps to Combat Homophobia

February 24, 2012

The U.K. has taken steps forward to combat homophobia in sport this week, with Prime Minister David Cameron meeting with football representatives and equality organizations Wednesday.

(Picture: PA)

(Picture: PA)

The meeting was held because of the recent series of racism accusations, but Cameron said the meeting was to “reaffirm our vigilance against racism – and all forms of discrimination.”

Amal Fashanu, niece of Justin Fashanu and who recently made a documentary video about homosexuality in football, was one of the participants at the meeting.  This past week the FA launched an action plan for tackling homophobia at a grassroots level, but Cameron also pushed for more work to be done in the top leagues.

“It’s obviously quite unlikely that there are no gay Premiership players, and that tells you something about the tolerance within the game,” said Steve Field, Cameron’s spokesman.  Sources: (Al Jazeera) (The Guardian) (Bloomberg Business Week)

Meanwhile, the FA have punished West Ham player Ravel Morrison for a homophobic remark he made on Twitter.  The player was fined £7000 and warned about any future misconduct after admitting to the charge of “using abusive and/or insulting words including a reference to a person’s sexual orientation.” (The Telegraph)

Finally in Scotland, a new initiative was launched Tuesday against homophobia in Scottish sport as part of Football vs Homophobia week. The initiative, Out for Sport, will be run by the Equality Network, a charity working for LGBT human rights in Scotland, with work also being done by LEAP Sports Scotland, a national organization established to support LGBT sporting groups.  Out for Sport will research homophobia and transphobia in Scottish sport and use the results to produce a series of recommendations to the Scottish government and sports bodies.

Scott Cuthbertson, Community Development Coordinator for the Equality Network, said; For too long homophobia and transphobia has been allowed to plague Scottish sport, with prejudice and discrimination too often left unchallenged. This will be Scotland’s biggest research to date on homophobia and transphobia in sport.

With all eyes on Scottish sport in the lead up to the Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth games, now is the right time to ensure sport is fully inclusive to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.” (Gay Today)

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