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Pride House raises profile of LGBT rights during Games

Glasgow 2014
The first ever Pride House to feature at a Commonwealth Games has been hailed by organisers for its positive impact on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, during its closing ceremony last night.

After a fortnight of events, Pride House Glasgow finished its programme with an evening of celebration, featuring Scottish entertainers such as the singer Horse McDonald and the comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli.

Central to raising the profile of homophobia and transphobia in sport during Glasgow 2014, Pride House has welcomed over 6,000 people through its doors over the course of the Games - including athletes and celebrities.

Other initiatives have involved flying the Rainbow flag from buildings, including St Andrew’s House, the first time this has been done over a Scottish Government building.

Hugh Torrance, Chair of LEAP Sports Scotland said: “As well as an evening of celebration, this was also an evening to contemplate the equality and human rights issues which have been raised and discussed throughout the Games.”

In addition, a number of prominent leaders and supporters of Pride House Glasgow recorded messages of thanks and solidarity which were shown at the closing ceremony party. These included First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, and social rights activist and retired Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Mr Salmond said: “Pride House Glasgow has helped to ensure that the Glasgow Commonwealth Games haven’t just been the greatest sporting and cultural festival Scotland has ever seen, they’ve also been the greatest celebration of diversity that we have ever seen.”

Archbishop Tutu said LEAP Sports Scotland are “contributing materially to the worldwide campaign against homophobia”, and goes on to say “I share Pride House Glasgow’s vision of a world free of prejudice”.

Archbishop Tutu also used his message to thank the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council for their support.

Pride House Glasgow, managed by LEAP Sports Scotland, was the first Pride House to welcome LGBT athletes, fans and visitors throughout the Games. Funded through the Scottish Government, Pride House also enjoyed substantial support from all of the major Glasgow Commonwealth Games organisers and stakeholders.

Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Equalities, Shona Robison said: “I am delighted with the reception Pride House has received from people across the world. Scotland is already a world leader on LGBT equality and being able to share or journey with other countries has been an important part the Games.”

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said: “We have sought to use the power of the Games to change attitudes by celebrating diversity in everything we do, including the Opening Ceremony, and by delivering a truly inclusive sports programme. Pride House Glasgow has been a wonderful addition to the city and to the spirit of celebration surrounding the Games and it has been a privilege to have them as both our partners and our neighbours.”

Pride House is being funded with almost £25,000 from the Scottish Government. Glasgow City Council provided the location for Pride House in Albion Street Glasgow.

Pride House has received £9,960 from the National Lottery funded Celebrate programme which provides awards for communities across Scotland to come together to hold arts, heritage, sports and local community celebrations of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Celebrate programme has also awarded £9,992 to the Equality Network and £9,980 to LGBT Youth Scotland for a range of community and sporting activities including those which will contribute to Pride House 2014.

LEAP Sports Scotland is supported by Pride House International, an international coalition of LGBT sport and human rights groups promoting the cause of equality in and by sport.