‘Pride House’ at Glasgow Commonwealth games31 July 2014

TheCommonwealthGamestakingplaceinGlasgowhasbecomethesecondmajorinternationalsportingeventtohostaPrideHousetowelcomeandcelebratetheLGBTcommunity.

The House, an architect designed shop space in the centre of Glasgow, is hosting 70 cultural events which include permanent exhibitions, events and talks.

The Commonwealth describes itself as ‘a voluntary association of 53 countries that support each other and work together towards shared goals in democracy and development’ has a membership of 54 countries covering 2 billion citizens. The majority of the countries are former British colonies.

The Commonwealth Games feature 40 sports including seven 7 para-sports, which are integrated alongside the able-bodied programme.

Majority of commonwealth nations ban homosexuality
Glasgow Pride House is financially supported by the games’ organisation and Glasgow City Council and is seen as a beacon of diversity against a background in which 42 of the 53 commonwealth countries declare homosexuality to be illegal.

The first Pride House was organised for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The Russian authorities blocked moves for one at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Leap Sports Scotland, an organisation promoting equality and diversity in sports and participation from the LGBT community is leading the initiative.

Leap Chairman Hugh Torrance said: “Pride House is an important addition to the Glasgow 2014 programme. 2014 has already been a historic year for LGBT equality in Scotland, and the support of the Scottish government sends an important message about our country’s commitment to equality in sport.”

Alex Salmond, the First Minister of the Scottish government, which has devolved status from the UK and has been flying the rainbow flag over its headquarters during the course of the games, said as he visited the site last Friday that Pride House is sending a message of inclusivity and acceptance.

 ‘Journey to equality’
“Our role is to say that this is the journey that Scotland has taken, this is where we are going, and to encourage others to start that same road (to equality)” he commented.

Leading LGBT human rights activist Peter Tatchell contrasted Salmond to other government leaders, “Whatever people think about Alex Salmond and the push for Scottish independence, his statement is the most forthright and supportive on LGBTI equality by any leader of any nation hosting a major international sporting event.

“No other leader of a Commonwealth or Olympic Games host nation has ever said or done anything so positive. To fly the rainbow flag from government headquarters for the duration of the games is unprecedented. It sends a signal of solidarity with LGBTI people throughout the Commonwealth.”

Pride House Glasgow