Scottish football signs up for LGBT rights

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Kenny MillerImage source, Equality Network
Image caption,
Kenny Miller of Rangers helped launch the charter

Professional football clubs in all four divisions backed an agreement on participation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In what has been described as a Scottish first, some of the country's biggest clubs have signed up to the LGBT Sports Charter.

The charter aims to encourage access to the sport for LGBT people.

Equality Network development manager Scott Cuthbertson said the move would help create a "more inclusive" game.

He 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."

'Sport for all'

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."

Celtic's Scott Brown added: "This is an issue which needs to be addressed and tackled and therefore we are delighted to sign up to the Charter, and promote the very important message that sport is for all."

The clubs backing the charter are Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Partick Thistle, Rangers St Johnstone, Dumbarton, Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers, Forfar Athletic, Elgin City and Peterhead.

Partick Thistle managing director Ian Maxwell said: "Football can be a very powerful tool to help fight all types of discrimination.

"Football is a universal language so no matter what your race, religion, background, gender or sexuality, kicking a ball about or watching your team on a Saturday helps put everyone on a level playing field."