Scottish football clubs sign up to Scottish LGBT Sports Charter
Last Updated: 05/08/17 7:41am
Clubs in all four of Scotland's professional football divisions have signed up to the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter.
It marks the first time in Scotland that so many clubs have made a commitment to better include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the beautiful game and the list of signees includes the biggest clubs in the country.
The Charter includes a set of five principles which aim to remove the barriers to sport for LGBT people - over thirty sports governing bodies have already signed up, including the Scottish Football Association.
Signing up to the charter are Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Partick Thistle, Rangers, St Johnstone, Dumbarton, Airdrieionans, Albion Rovers, Forfar Athletic, Elgin City and Peterhead.
Scott Cuthbertson, Development Manager of the Equality Network said: "We're delighted that these clubs, from across all four SPFL divisions, are today making a commitment to LGBT supporters, officials and the next generation of LGBT players.
"Today's message is loud and clear, everyone is welcome at football and we are working for a more inclusive game.
"We don't yet have any openly LGBT professional players in the men's professional game in Scotland but we know there are plenty of LGBT fans. Thank you to those clubs who have already taken this step. For clubs who haven't yet signed up and who want to make their club more inclusive, our door is always open."
The charter states as its aim that "Scotland will be a country where everyone can take part, enjoy, and succeed in sport at all levels whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity". It was developed in consultation with sports governing bodies (SGBs), other sports stakeholders and LGBT people.
Rangers striker Kenny Miller said: "Rangers is an inclusive club and strives to promote equality and inclusion and we are delighted to sign up to the Scottish LGBT Sports Charter.
"Everyone should be able to take part, enjoy and succeed in sport whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity and we are proud to support this initiative."
David Douglas, Chief Executive of Albion Rovers FC said: "Albion Rovers FC are fully committed to implementing this charter and believe that our football club should be inclusive, diverse and welcoming to any individual or group.
"Football teams and football players have a vital role to play in sending out strong signals that everyone has the right to be included and treated with respect and dignity. This is an important area for us and all football teams who want to be seen as modern, progressive and determined to be more than just a football club."