A new Equality Charter aimed at tackling homophobia and increasing LGBT inclusion within Scottish Sport has been launched at Hampden Park today.

The Scottish FA were one of a number of contributories to the charter which was drawn up by The Equality Network in consultation with governing bodies and the LGBT community.

Women in leadership and Equality law were also discussed at the seminar, attended by organisations from around the world of Scottish Sport.

Five Principles
The new LGBT Charter has five principles for those delivering sport in Scotland to sign up to:

- Take steps to actively involve LGBT people in sport and visibly support LGBT inclusion and equality.

- Challenge homophobic and transphobic behaviour and ensure a positive and welcoming sporting environment for LGBT participants.

- Develop policies and practices that are inclusive, informed by a better understanding of the issues and barriers for LGBT people and by taking advantage of training.

- Work to further include trans people in sport by understanding the differing needs for trans participants and begin to reduce the barriers which prevent trans people from taking part in sport in their acquired gender.

- Strive to make continuous improvements to greater include LGBT people in Scottish sport.

The launch was prompted by the 2012 Out for Sport report that found that almost three-thirds of LGBT people would be more likely to take part in sport if it was more LGBT–friendly.

'An inclusive and accessible sport'
Scottish FA Chief Executive Stewart Regan spoke at the seminar about his commitment to increasing opportunities within football for people of all backgrounds, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Stewart said: “In 2011 we published our Equality Action plan, one of our key aims since then has been to increase accessibility and opportunities in football for all.

“As part of that, working with LEAP sport and the equality network, our equity team have commenced a programme that will ensure, whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity - football will be an inclusive and accessible sport.

“Our aim is to have a better understanding of the social and personal barriers that discourage the LGBT community from participating in football. With that in mind our equity team have worked hard to ensure a greater visibility in the Scottish FA regions.”

The launch of the charter comes just days after the first ever all-Scottish Gay Football Support Network (GFSN) Cup Final at Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview Park on Sunday, which seen Saltire Thistle beat HotScots by one goal.