john_barrowman_gay_kiss_opening_of_commonwealth_gamesIn a fantastic finger to homophobia, gay actor and singer John Barrowman kissed a male dancer during yesterday’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Barrowman, who is Scottish-American, is best known for his roles in TV’s Doctor Who and Arrow. During the ceremony he ran across the stage and planted a smooch on the lips of the dancer. The two then ran off holding hands. (Watch the video below.)

The act was one of proud defiance against the fact that 80 percent (42 out of 53) of the countries taking part in the Games criminalise homosexuality, with three – Nigeria, Brunei and Pakistan – allowing for the death penalty as punishment.

The kiss was welcomed by LGBTI allies on social media. Stefan Bienkowski tweeted: “A gay kiss in the opening ceremony of a competition featuring half of Africa. We’re nothing if not fearless in Glasgow.”

SimonNRicketts, commented “Well done Scotland. John Barrowman in a same-sex kiss during the opening ceremony. Small, but significant act. #CommonwealthGames,” while Michael Gray added, “Whether he meant it or not, @Team_Barrowman’s kiss has sparked greater awareness of homophobia throughout the #Commonwealth #GoodForHim”

It was later revealed by The Independent that the gay kiss was not a spontaneous one, but was scripted into the ceremony.

“We thought this accentuated the values of Scotland and the diversity of Scotland,” Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive David Grevemberg said.

Commonwealth Games Federation Chief Executive Mike Hooper added: “There should be no discrimination on any grounds whatsoever. I thought the whole thing was a fantastic show.”

Earlier, the Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, Nick Clegg, visited the Pride House in Glasgow to show his support for LGBT athletes at the event.

“We can’t dictate how other nations behave but we can promote the principles we believe in – of a fair and open society both in the UK and abroad,” he commented.

Clegg said that he hoped that an LGBT policy review by the UK in response to recent anti-gay legislation in Uganda “will help us hardwire LGBT rights into our entire human rights agenda – through every bilateral meeting, every multilateral relationship and every corner of the world.”

He added: “Love is the same – whichever village, town, city, country or continent you live in. It binds people together and makes communities stronger. I will continue to say that to all those people in power, or not, who seek to deny these freedoms to others across the world.”

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend