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Refugee homosexuals can look forward to fairness in sports; Stephen Fry backs anti-homophobia drive

Gays or lesbians, in UK after fleeing persecution back home, can further look forward to fairness in the field of sports.

Actor Stephen Fry has lent his support to the government's campaign to kick homophobia out of sport.

 

 

Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian and gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behaviour.

The Charter for Action forms part of a government plan to ensure equal treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The government is taking action on a range of issues from civil partnerships, to promote better recording of hate crimes and a commitment to promote rights abroad.

The government, in fact, launched a Sports Charter last year calling for anyone and everyone with an interest or involvement in sport to unite in a common cause to tackle homophobia and transphobia in sport.

The Charter commits signatories to challenge discrimination and work to rid sport of homophobic and transphobic abuse both on the stands and in the field, so that everyone can take part in and enjoy sport.

The development is also significant as reports reveal claims filed by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) asylum seekers, fleeing persecution and discrimination in their countries of origin, are treated differently across the 27 states of the European Union.

This was revealed by 'Fleeing Homophobia', the first-ever EU-wide comparative study recently released by Sabine Jansen and Thomas Spijkerboer (read more: Fleeing homophobia, every year 10,000 LGBTI asylum claims in Europe)

Already, sports personalities have aired support for government’s stand against hate of any kind, anywhere in sports.

Tennis legend Billie Jean King and rugby's Gareth Thomas and Ben Cohen recently joined the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary at an event to show support for a government charter for action.

Sports organisations also signed the charter, which commits signatories to helping rid sport of discrimination so that everyone can take part.

At that time Prime Minister David Cameron had asserted: 'I think it's great that here in No 10 we have got representatives of the governing bodies of almost every single sport you can think of, signing the charter and saying it's time to put an end to homophobia.

'There are a huge number of sports personalities who have not felt able to come out. We should be doing far more to make them comfortable to do that.

'Young people look to role models, and until we have enough positive role models, it won't change.'

Home Secretary, Theresa May had added: 'There is no room for hate of any kind, anywhere in sport.

'But too many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people feel that the sports field is not somewhere they can be themselves, and that prejudice and discrimination will mean their sexuality is always talked about more than their ability with a ball, bat or racket.

'Sport should be about what you can do, not who you are. I want to see anybody and everybody who loves sport sign the Charter for Action and commit to kicking homophobia and transphobia out of sport for good.'

The Charter for Action was launched on 13 March 2011 by government minister for equalities, Lynne Featherstone.

To support the campaign, you sign up to the Charter for Action 'like' the 'I love sport, but I hate homophobia and transphobia' Facebook page.

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