Australian Rugby Adopts Anti-Homophobia Policy

Topics: Homosexuality, Sexual orientation, LGBT Pages: 6 (1792 words) Published: December 9, 2013


Australian Rugby Adopts Anti-Homophobia Policy
Popular Press News Article Analysis

Popular Press News Article Analysis

Introduction
The article, Australian Rugby Adopts Anti-Homophobia Policy by Emma Stoney is a recent article by The New York Times published in August of 2013 which talks about the new policy regarding anti-homophobia that Australia has adopted for the sport of Rugby. In this paper I will explain the positive effects that this new policy will have and how it will affect rugby and the future of sports in general.

Problem Description
1. The Australia Rugby Union (A.R.U) has announced that they would start an “inclusive policy” to allow openly gay players to join their Rugby Teams. This new code surrounds the mid-level problem of homophobia. The type of problem this new code addresses is individual civil rights and the specific problem is discrimination of gays and lesbians (homophobia). The author explains how mid-level groups of gays and lesbians are discriminated against in rugby and all sports in general. The scope of the problem is global and it is now being adjusted to help more gay athletes. The problem has existed prior to the 1950s and is still very prevalent today. At least 10% of gay rugby players are affected. This new policy helps alleviate the problem of homophobia, which is the fear and/or hatred of homosexuals. This problem comes from human sexuality and sexual orientation. In America 1 out of 4 men are exclusively homosexual and throughout the entire world statistics are similar. The level of the victim of homophobia is micro because it affects individuals and the level of the perpetrator is macro because the groups involved are organizations. Analysis

2a. The new “inclusive policy” will be different than the prior anti-discrimination guidelines which the union already had. This all comes after the backlash of Moscow hosting the world track and field championship and being highly criticized for being discriminatory to gay and lesbian players (Stoney 1). “This announcement by the Australian Rugby Union was timed to coincide with the one-year countdown to the 2014 Bingham Cup, known as the gay Rugby World Cup, which will be held in Sydney next year (Australian)”, Explains Stoney. The A.R.U will be consulting with the gay rugby community to ensure the code will be active for the start of the Cup. Emma Stoney goes on to explain that, “While there are plenty of players, coaches, administrators and referees who are happy to promote equality within the game, rugby still has very few people who are open about their homosexuality, particularly at the elite level”. The elite level is the major league of rugby (Stoney 1). Many hope that Bingham Cup will continue to change attitudes towards gays in rugby. According to Andrew Purchas, the president of the 2014 Bingham Cup, ”Bingham Cup 2014 will give Sydney the chance to witness the passion with which gay communities from around the world have taken to the Rugby pitch”(Stoney 1).

According to Coleman and Kerbo, “No other minority group is subject to such open and blatant discrimination as gays and lesbians. Homophobia has been around since the Middle Ages where homosexuals were tortured to death. Now criminal penalties have been abolished but discrimination exists none the less (Coleman & Kerbo 276). Effects of the Problem

2b. Before the new policy was implemented many players, referees, and officials were discriminated against and many were forced to retire from the sport due to their sexual orientation. Homophobia and discrimination do not only just occur in rugby but in all sports. Though many players and other people affiliated with the sport have come out as being openly gay there are still some who do not feel comfortable. One example is a referee at the international level named Nigel Owens who came out in...
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