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Human rights campaigners hail Glasgow's role in focusing world attention on homophobia

HUMAN rights campaigners say one of the key legacies of the 2014 Glasgow Games has been casting a spotlight on the anti-gay legislation of 42 Commonwealth countries.

Speaking after tough new anti-gay legislation in Uganda was annulled by the country's constitutional court last week, they said public awareness of the Commonwealth countries criminalising homosexuality had been raised by the Games.

Peter Tatchell praised First Minister Alex Salmond for his public support for gay equality.

He said the Games had helped to "highlight the issue of the criminalisation of same-sex love".

Tatchell told the Sunday Herald that the gay rights conferences and protests which have taken place around the Games had helped to elevate the issue in the public mind.

He said: "Alex Salmond's public support for gay equality and the Scottish Government's One Scotland campaign have also helped enormously. Homophobic Commonwealth countries are feeling the pressure of international opprobrium. It is emboldening activists within these countries to step up their campaigns for reform."

The Ugandan court quashed a controversial new bill on Friday which has previously been passed by MPs in December. The court ruled the legislation had been made without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal.

Dr Matthew Waites, of the University of Glasgow's School of Social and Political Sciences, also believes the Games helped bring the issue of anti-gay legislation into the public arena and put additional pressure on those countries where homosexuality is outlawed.

The issue of anti-gay legislation was promoted from the start of the Games when actor John Barrowman shared a kiss with a male volunteer during the opening ceremony. The 47-year-old gay actor kissed the volunteer dancer during the opening sequence as the kilted cast pretended to be at a wedding at Gretna Green.

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