UNSW ES throw support behind marriage equality

The UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs and Stingrays, and their junior club the East Sydney Bulldogs have put their support behind the push for marriage equality.

Over 1,100 of their players across the two clubs have committed to making AFL a welcoming environment for anyone who wants to be involved.

This comes after the West Brunswick Football Club in Victoria put the call out for community clubs to join the Gay? That’s OK pledge.

Clubs that sign up to the pledge commit themselves to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all people regardless of sexual orientation, race or gender. In addition to this, they also strongly encourage members to vote YES as part of their commitment towards marriage equality.

UNSW Eastern Suburbs President, Stephen Dunkley believes this campaign is incredibly important, as it will make sure all players feel welcome in the game.

“We want our players to know we stand with them,” Dunkley said.

“It’s of utmost importance to me that homophobia in sport is stamped out, and that our club members feel supported when they pull on their jerseys.

This can only happen if we, as a community, are vocal in our commitment to equality.”

Likewise, East Sydney Bulldogs President, Iain Dunstan believes that football clubs have a duty to their wider community.

“We’re a football club first and foremost, but we’re a community as well,” said Dunstan.

“We’re committed to a culture that provides a safe playing environment, and are proud to pledge our support.”

The Presidents of both clubs strongly support the pledge and encourage other AFL Sydney clubs should get behind it.

“It’s a small step in the right direction,” Dunkley said.

“But by doing so we say to all of our LGBTQI players that they are equal, and that we as a league support them. What could be more important than that?”

To add your club to the list, get in touch with the Gay? That’s OK team via their Facebook page.

The AFL and AFL Sydney is committed to equality and diversity, and support the rights of all Australians to live, work and play free from discrimination.