John Barrowman gay kiss was scripted, Commonwealth Games 2014 CEO confirms

It turns out the embrace was less spontaneous, more entirely staged

John Barrowman’s defiant gay kiss in the middle of the Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony in Glasgow has been heralded as a spur-of-the-moment snub to countries which still criminalise homosexuality.

But it turns out the embrace, made as the performer kissed his "bride" at a mock Gretna Green, was less spontaneous, and more entirely scripted.

"We thought this accentuated the values of Scotland and the diversity of Scotland," Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg said.

"Some people may say [it was] bold, but I think confident.

"Gretna Green is a place where people elope. That moment was about people getting married. It's all about love."

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper added: "There should be no discrimination on any grounds whatsoever. I thought the whole thing was a fantastic show."


Grevemberg went on to say that the opening ceremony  ̶  which also featured Scottish terriers, Iron-Bru, inflatable tea cakes and a giant Haggis  ̶  had largely been well-received by the athletes.

"I really hope it expressed the warmth of Glasgow and Scotland's welcome," he told PA.

"The feedback that we received from the athletes was very, very positive. They felt the welcome was jubilant and engaging. I was delighted with that response."

Speaking of the Tamil protest against Sri Lanka’s inclusion in the Games, which took place outside Celtic Park ahead of the ceremony, he said: "We've made a very strong commitment to allow peaceful protests.

"The feedback we received last night from Tamil protesters was they were happy with the opportunity."

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