World Rugby pledges to tackle homophobia in the sport

In a mirror of the long-running Kick Homophobia out of Football campaign, World rugby (formerly the IRB) has pledged to work together with International Gay Rugby (IGR) on the promotion of equality in the sport.

A document signed by the organisations this week promised to uphold “the right of any player, official and spectator to be involved with rugby without discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or identification” and promote “the common goal of inclusion and the elimination of homophobia in rugby.”

World Rugby and IGR will consult with  members of the LGBT community on the issues that are important to them. IGR chairman Jeff Wilson said “We are committed to partnering with World Rugby to continue our work of making rugby the most inclusive and tolerant sport in the world”.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said “Rugby is an inclusive sport which has at its heart character-building values of passion, integrity, solidarity, respect and discipline. The signing of this historic agreement underscores our commitment to those values and our strategic vision – a game for all, true to its values.”

Commenting on World Rugby’s decision, bi campaigner Edward Lord OBE, the only out chair of an English sport governing body, The ASA, said: “This is fantastic news. It’s great that a major team sport is taking this lead in battling homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia. Other international federations could learn from their courageous stance, which follows the IOC’s recent decision to include a commitment to LGBT equality within the Olympic Charter.”

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Libby Baxter-Williams

Libby is a 30-something Londoner, who spends more time reading picture books than is seemly. She became a bi activist entirely by accident, but now she can't imagine living any other way. In the event of an emergency, she'll have a large gin and tonic, thanks.

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