Scots actor John Barrowman delivers rebuke to anti-LGBT countries with Commonwealth Games kiss

Almost 80% of Commonwealth nations practise some form of discrimination against the LGBT community.

John Barrowman
John Barrowman

Scots actor 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 said.

However, viewers criticised Barrowman’s performance on social media, describing it as "bad" and a "reason to vote Yes in the independence referendum".

The Glaswegian actor has now hit back at his critics. After retweeting some of their negative comments, he tweeted: "I am retweeting the negative because I want you all to see how bitter and nasty and negative some people are:) I am so happy right now.

"I don't care...

"I'm Scottish and you can never take that away no matter what your politics are. Bitterness makes you ugly and old very fast:) happy jb."

Amnesty International tweeted: "A big kiss goes out to the 42 of 53 Commonwealth countries where it is a crime to be gay."

Tom French of the Equality Network, added: "42 of 53 Commonwealth countries criminalise same-sex relationships - that's why this kiss was important."