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Darwin's AsiaPacific Outgames ready to roll

Sat 10 May 2014 In: International News

The Darwin AsiaPacific Outgames will burst into life with an opening ceremony tonight. The games have the theme ‘Strength Through Togetherness’ while the attached Human Rights Forum will focus on ‘Power Through Action’. While it’s not clear just how many New Zealanders are competing, there will be Kiwi representation, with a number of contenders making their way across the Tasman. People from across the Asia Pacific, and the world, will compete in traditional sports like athletics and football, as well as the likes of roller derby and dragon boating. There will be a strong New Zealand presence in the human rights conference which starts next week, where Labour MP Louisa Wall will be among the featured speakers. Chair of Darwin 2014 Olli Berst says since the last Asia Pacific Outgames in Wellington in March 2011, a lot has happened in the LGBTI scene in the Asia Pacific Region. “Same-sex marriage became legal in New Zealand and the United Kingdom; the decision on the legal recognition of a ‘non-specific sex in the case of Norrie in the High Court lead to a ruling that New South Wales laws do permit the registration of a category of sex other than male or female; and, on 9 April 2014 the major professional sporting codes in Australia committed to implement comprehensive and effective anti-homophobia and inclusion policies by 27 August this year, beginning with the Bingham Cup in Sydney, just to name a few,” Berst says. “Over the last three years, many international celebrities have come out publicly identifying their sexual orientation. There is progress towards inclusiveness, acceptance and appreciation around the world. However, laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people vary greatly by country or territory – everything from legal recognition of same-sex marriage or other types of partnerships, to the death penalty as punishment for same- sex attracted identity.”     

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 10th May 2014 - 9:23am

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