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John Barrowman Delivers Rebuke To Anti-LGBT Countries With Commonwealth Games Kiss

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BARROWMAN
BBC

John Barrowman delivered a stunning rebuke to the 42 nations of the Commonwealth in which homosexuality remains illegal – by kissing a man during the opening ceremony of the Glasgow games.

The gay actor, who was born in Glasgow, sang "Welcome to Scotland" as part of the opening act with comedian Dunbar, the pair entering the stage from beneath a giant kilt. Barrowman then kissed a male "bride" at a mock Gretna Green before being whisked away on a sea of "heather".

Politicians have voiced their concerns over the plight of the LGBT communities across the Commonwealth leading up to the Games, with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg telling campaigners in Glasgow that it was unacceptable that almost 80 per cent of the countries involved practise some form of LGBT discrimination.

"The Commonwealth core values and principles which all Commonwealth countries sign up to are clear. They say that ‘We are committed to equality and respect for the protection and promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights’. Yet almost 42 out of 53 countries of Commonwealth countries that are represented here in Glasgow this week criminalise homosexuality in some way."

Clegg, who attended the opening ceremony, added: "We’ve come a long way in this country towards achieving the genuine equality that LGBT people have always wanted and deserved. This includes last year’s landmark equal marriage reform. Yet there’s still a huge amount to be done across the world.

"As we celebrate the bravery of Olympians who have come out - Tom Daley, Ian Thorpe or Nicola Adams for example – some countries are taking backward steps; putting their LGBT Olympians so far back in the closet that they can’t ever imagine their day in the open. We can’t dictate how other nations behave but we can promote the principles we believe in – of a fair and open society both in the UK and abroad."

Speaker of the House John Bercow also voiced his opposition ahead of the opening ceremony, calling for an end to the "shameful" criminalisation of homosexuality in the vast majority of the Commonwealth countries.

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Today (23:44) BST
The Games are on

That was a truly impressive evening's entertainment and as Daley Thompson told Gary Lineker, whatever happens next "Scotland has already won". And he's right. If ever there was an opening ceremony that reflected 'The Friendly Games', Glasgow 2014 was the one. Let's hope the sport matches it.

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Today (23:36) BST
The Queen

HRH declares the Games open to huge applause and of course, we have fireworks. Lots of fireworks

And Primal Scream.. yep, more great tunes.Let the party begin!

commonwealth games opening ceremony glasgow

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Today (23:32) BST
It's Chris again

Sir Chris Hoy is actually Scotland himself, isn't he. He's everywhere. And thankfully he's saved the day as he manages to get the Queen's message out of the baton which has been most of the way around the world and is stuck.

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Today (23:25) BST
Rod's got his pants off
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Today (23:22) BST
Welcome to Scotland!

After which he welcomes all the athletes - and the world - to Scotland. Was that extra emphasis on 'Scotland'? We reckon so.. and why not!

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First minister Alex Salmond calls for a minute's silence for all those who died in the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crash last week. Perfectly observed.

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The Big Yin talks about the city's relationship with Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid before introducing the song Freedom Come All Ye

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From space to Celtic Park, not bad at all!

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That's impressive. We've got a live message from the guys at the space station. No Space Oddity though, shame.

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Today (23:02) BST
A special moment

John Barrowman, we salute you again

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Today (23:00) BST
UNICEF donations

Sir Chris Hoy and James McEvoy invite the audience and viewers all over the globe to donate to help children. If you want to help, text FIRST TO 70333. Each text will cost £5

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Today (22:55) BST
Rod's back

but he's even croakier than usual. Must have been cheering too much for the tartan boys and girls

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Today (22:52) BST

scotland

scotland opening ceremony

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Today (22:48) BST
Nice work from the Scots

That's a great entrance for the Scottish athletes, there's real jubilation in Celtic Park helped with a dose of The Shamen

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Today (22:46) BST
But first...

Their celtic cousins from Wales...

wales

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Today (22:45) BST
The volume's going up!

The excitement is definitely rising as the crowd waits for the home nation's athletes to enter

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Today (22:42) BST
Oops!
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Today (22:40) BST
The Manxmen cometh

See, it's not just all about Mark Cavendish

isle of man

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Today (22:38) BST
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Today (22:36) BST
Here come the Europeans

Cyprus are first in for Europe, followed by England who get a fantastic ovation. Are we really in Scotland?

england

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Colin Jackson introduces the latest instalment from UNICEF wit the Penguin Cafe Orchestra in the background.

This ceremony is all music and dogs for us!

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I think we can expect some comment now from Mrs Kirchner in Argentina over the coming days

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Today (22:29) BST
Yay, more dogs!

commonwealth games opening ceremony glasgow dog

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Nice of Huw Edwards to remind us that the Cayman Islands is a tax haven. There'll be a lot of wealthy folk cheering for 'their' country.

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Today (22:23) BST
More dogs steal the show
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Today (22:22) BST
Old v young rockers

Add their ages together and they'd still be younger than Rod

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Today (22:17) BST
UNICEF message

If you're wondering why there are regular messages for UNICEF, it's a new initiative for the Games. Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and UNICEF have forged a partnership, with the ambition of improving the lives of children in every country in the Commonwealth through raising money for the Children of the Commonwealth Fund. a 'big idea' indeed as Ewan McGregor said.

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Today (22:14) BST
Wanna get hitched?
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Today (22:10) BST
A great show

Have to say it's looking impressive in Celtic Park with the athletes' parade

commonwealth games opening ceremony glasgow

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Today (22:08) BST
That kiss!

Worth remembering why John Barrowman's kiss was also memorable:

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