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04/19/2007


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...

Continue reading "Australian Rugby Union To Adopt Pro-Gay Inclusion Policy: VIDEO" »


Australian Rugby Star David Pocock Speaks Out for Marriage Equality

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Australia rugby union player David Pocock has come out in support of marriage equality as that country is engaged in a major debate over legislation to enact it. Pocock, who plays for the Western Force and Wallabies, has spoken out for marriage equality, and says he and his partner Emma won't get "legally" married till everyone can.

The New Zealand Herald reports:

There is a certain depth of sincerity to Pocock which people gravitate to, and also characteristics that probably set him apart from the pack, or at least the stereotypical pack. For starters, there is his dedication to gay rights and other social and political issues. When he and partner Emma, an Australian, married last December, they used the opportunity to support their gay-marriage beliefs.

Pocock says: "I don't see what the big deal is with the whole gay marriage debate in Australia. Being brought up in a Christian home and still identifying as Christian, I get pretty annoyed with the Christian lobbies around the world who say gay marriage destroys the family and all that kind of rubbish. They claim to follow someone who always stood up for the oppressed and marginalised. I guess it is a fear of the unknown - if you talk to someone who doesn't like gay people you can almost guarantee that they don't know too many. These are the prejudices that you have to challenge and break down. Emma and I decided not to get legally married until our gay friends could do the same."

Pocock is beautiful on both the inside and outside.

A couple tributes to Pocock including one that suggests he has the potential to become both an ally and pin-up in the mold of Ben Cohen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Australian Rugby Star David Pocock Speaks Out for Marriage Equality" »


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