Daley Urges Commonwealth Nations to End Criminalisation of Homosexuality

By McLaughlin, Martyn | The Scotsman, April 14, 2018 | Go to article overview

Daley Urges Commonwealth Nations to End Criminalisation of Homosexuality


McLaughlin, Martyn, The Scotsman


Tom Daley, one of Britain's most high-profile openly gay athletes, has made an impassioned plea for more Commonwealth countries to decriminalise homosexuality, stressing the importance of "shining a light" on the issue.

The 23-year-old, a four-time gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games, said it was crucial for him to be open about his sexuality while competing in the Gold Coast, but warned that privilege was not guaranteed to other athletes the world over.

Daley, who has also won two Olympic bronze medals, said that 37 of 53 countries in the Commonwealth still classed homosexuality as illegal. It is punishable by imprisonment in 19 nations, including India and Malaysia, while in Brunei it carries the death penalty.

The idea that it was "illegal to be who I am" in so many countries, said Daley, ought to spur change.

Speaking after he and Dan Goodfellow won the synchronised 10m platform - a victory followed later in the day by Grace Reid securing Scotland's first diving gold for a woman in the 1m springboard - Daley said: "Hopefully we can reduce that number.

Coming to the Gold Coast and being able to live as an openly gay man is really important.

"You want to feel comfortable in who you are when you are standing on that diving board and for 37 Commonwealth countries that are here participating that is not the case.

"I feel with the Commonwealth we can really help push some other nations to relax their laws on anti-gay stuff."

Daley's remarks come just days before the Queen is due to welcome leaders for the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London. …

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