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Australian Rugby Union To Adopt Pro-Gay Inclusion Policy: VIDEO

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The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) today announced it would amend its charter to offer support for gay players, pledging to put forth a new policy of "inclusion" that aims to end homophobia in Rugby. The move comes in the lead-up to the 2014 Bingham Cup in Sydney, "the World Cup of gay Rugby," Australia's The Daily Telegraph Reports:

The policy, which will be among the first of its kind in world sport, is separate to existing anti-vilification guidelines, and is likely to see elements such as anti-homophobia programs for young players and high-profile stars in public awareness campaigns. It could ultimately even see rugby participants face penalties if guilty of homophobic behaviour.

The ARU will consult with the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Human Rights Commission, players groups and the gay and lesbian community to formulate a policy in time for the 2014 Bingham Cup.

Rugby star David Pocock, who in 2011 came out as an advocate for marriage equality and pledged not to wed his partner Emma til his gay and lesbian friends had the same right, praised the ARU's decision:

Pocock"I am stoked. It is fantastic that the ARU is making this commitment to come up with a policy," Pocock said.

"The one thing we have learned over the past year or so is we can’t wait for the government to lead the way on tackling homophobia, so every person needs to do it in their family and their own workplace.

"For me, that’s rugby and I am really excited to hopefully see the impact this makes on young boys and girls coming through, and hopefully having more awareness that rugby — and sport — is for everyone, and no-one should be discriminated against on the basis of sexuality."

"Talking to some of the guys who play for the (gay rugby team) Sydney Convicts, some of their stories are awful. One young guy got voted out of his colts team when he came out to them. Those sort of things aren’t acceptable and it’s about time rugby stood up, and said: 'This isn’t right.'"

Check out a video of Pocock discussing his support for marriage equality on Australian talk show Q&A AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. This is great.

    But on a really shallow note, Mmmmm, rugby players. Mesomorphs on parade!

    Posted by: Caliban | Aug 27, 2013 1:49:05 PM


  2. the first straight ally i knew in college after i came out was a rugby player, and he used to invite me and my friends to practices. i, of course, brought binoculars - you wouldn't want to miss a play!

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 27, 2013 2:05:32 PM


  3. Ugh - they're all so freaking hot!!!!!!!

    Posted by: sean | Aug 27, 2013 2:18:13 PM


  4. "Rugby star David Pocock, who in 2011 came out as an advocate for marriage equality and pledged not to wed his partner Emma til his gay and lesbian friends had the same right..."

    Wow... Putting your own marriage on hold like that... Wow...

    Posted by: Meah | Aug 27, 2013 2:45:14 PM


  5. This is so great!

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Aug 27, 2013 3:07:40 PM


  6. Always great to have guys from a super macho sport support LGBT rights/causes.

    Oh and I'm gonna have to watch these games with my legs crossed.

    Posted by: S. | Aug 27, 2013 3:41:04 PM


  7. Real men who are comfortable with their masculinity are not afraid to stand up with their gay brothers.

    Posted by: jarago | Aug 27, 2013 5:20:03 PM


  8. Having straight allies of deep conscience, like David Pocock, Hudson Taylor, Charles Barkley and so many more likeminded thinkers who have respect and love in their hearts for all of humanity, is essential to the LGBTI community's fullest integration into the rights and privileges that any nation's government offers its citizens. Integration into the fullest rights of citizenry is not assimilation and a loss of the unique benefits that the LGBTI people of the world have to offer their fellow citizens. The African American struggle for civil rights still relies upon the (hopefully) ever expanding education of their neighbors that we are all in this life together, and we have so much to share that enriches all of our lives. My gratitude could never be expressed in adequate degree for those allies every oppressed minority has because these allies see their own human commonality with all of humanity. As the Dalai Lama has said, we have the chance to make this a century of peace and harmony. Despite my own admittedly prejudiced misguided actions in the past, I feel redeemed when I see folks like David Pocock take on an injustice when he has no more personal an interest than the love of his LGBTI friends and a deeply rooted sense of righteousness for all of humankind. Thank you, a million times over, Mr. Peacock and your beloved Emma!

    Posted by: Thomas Cardellino | Aug 27, 2013 10:46:05 PM


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