John Barrowman caused a stir at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony. Right at the end, he chose to kiss a man to promote gay rights. Considering the Games are held in Glasgow this year, it was not illegal or immoral. However, 42 countries in the Commonwealth still make being gay a crime.
Twitter erupted at the end of Barrowman’s performance at the games. Many questioned whether it was a political statement considering the fact that it is a crime in many of the countries competing in the Games. The actor is known for being gay and understandably very supportive of equal rights for gay and lesbian couples around the world. Many Twitter users rejoiced and thanked the actor for his decision.
It seems a number of large sporting events have been a platform for raising awareness of equality for gay, lesbian and transgender people. The Sochi Winter Olympics was also surrounding in controversy over homosexuality due to a number of laws passed by the Russian government.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been a bigger platform considering the number of countries competing that do make homosexuality illegal compared to those that do not. There are 71 nations and territories competing, with 42 countries making it illegal. It has led to protests from those supporting the rights of the LGBT community. David Cameron has also been urged to speak about equality. Now John Barrowman has caused a stir at the Commonwealth Games to show his support.
Article 7 of the Federal constitution for the Games prohibits discrimination of any form. That means athletes cannot be prevented from joining the national teams for their sexuality. However, there are concerns that this still continues because homosexuality is illegal in so many countries. Of course, any athletes who are gay will avoid talking about it if they come from those countries to avoid being arrested. Is that really fair that they cannot be themselves?
The Dr. Who actor also caused a stir for other reasons during the Opening Ceremony. His performance involved a tongue-in-cheek song about the history of Scotland. Some of this involved stories of the Loch Ness Monster and drinking Irn Bru, a favorite drink for many Scots. It was funny but some believed that the comedy took away from the importance of the history. It was very much like a pantomime, which is something the Glasgow-born actor is well-known for now.
For most of the Scots, the kiss was a welcoming sight. It screamed the equality that so many people want in the country. It was around other areas that it caused an issue.
The Opening Ceremony is just the start of the 11-day Commonwealth Games, which already caused controversy in the planning and building stages. There are now controversies and problems with tickets and travel around the area. However, many people are looking forward to the various sporting events taking place and it is hoped that it will just as popular as the London 2012 Olympics. The Opening Ceremony has already been just as popular and more controversial as Barrowman caused a stir with his gay kiss.
By Alexandria Ingham