Gays face abuse on the sports field, claims survey

Sydney: Only one percent of people feel that gays are “completely accepted” on the sporting field, while others have been subject to verbal and physical abuse for being homosexual, a new international survey said yesterday.

Close to 9,500 people were interviewed for the “Out on the Fields” study, with respondents mostly from Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland and United States. 

Discrimination faced
“Even in the most promising countries, such as Canada, discrimination and homophobia were still widely experienced by both LGB and straight participants,” it said. Some 19 percent of gay men and nine percent of lesbians surveyed said they had been “physically assaulted”, while 27 percent of gay men and 16 percent of lesbians said they were subject to verbal threats of harm.

About 54 percent of gay men, 48 percent of lesbians and 28 percent of straight men said they had experienced homophobia.

Australian sports officials vowed to tackle the issue, after the survey initiated by the Sydney organising committee of a gay rugby event — found positive signs that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) were welcome in team sports.

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