THE opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games took on a distinctly pink tinge today with a gay kiss taking centre stage.

In a skit to kick off the 20th games, openly-gay actor and star of ABC sci-fi series Torchwood John Barrowman presented a tribute in a song to Scotland’s regions.

Upon reaching Gretna Green, famous as an eloping spot just across the Scottish border for young English couples who would otherwise be unable to marry at home, Barrowman ran into the crowd and kissed one of the male dancers.

Seemingly a planned move, the kiss was directly in front of the TV cameras and was broadcast live to millions of viewers worldwide.

The reference to same-sex marriage comes following the decision by Scottish legislators earlier this year to approve marriage equality.

However, unlike in England and Wales, where same-sex ceremonies are already taking place, Scotland has yet to set a date for the first day when gay marriages can start taking place.

Australia’s most successful swimmer and Olympian Ian Thorpe, who just recently publicly came out as gay, also had a starring role at the opening ceremony as one of six athletes to bring the Commonwealth flag into the Glasgow stadium.

Gay issues have been high on the agenda in the run up to the Commonwealth Games after it emerged about 80 per cent competing nations criminalise homosexuality.

Australian-born human right campaigner Peter Tatchell has urged UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to publicly declare their support for the games’ LGBTI athletes.

Cameron has so far not heeded the call.

Salmond told international media representatives gathering in Glasgow that “in St Andrew’s House [the headquarters of the Scottish Government], we fly the rainbow flag, sometimes called the pride flag internationally, for the course of the Games… So, we demonstrate our commitment and we provide an exemplar in terms of what we believe in.”



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