ST MIRREN manager Danny Lennon has shown the red card to homophobic louts who hurl insults from the stands.
The Buddies boss hit out as the Paisley club became the first SPL side to back a major new campaign to tackle homophobic attitudes in the NHS.
Launched by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, the Standing Together Against Homophobia campaign is the first of its kind in the UK NHS.
And now Saints boss Danny has called for slurs aimed at gay Buddies to be kicked into touch.
He said: “We are delighted to be supporting the health board’s Taking A Stand Against Homophobia campaign.
“There is no place for homophobia in the NHS, in football or indeed in any aspect of our society. Like the NHS, St Mirren Football Club views homophobia as seriously as any other form of discrimination.”
The health board launched its campaign after stark statistics revealed the extent of homophobia that pervades Scottish society.
According to new figures, a quarter of lesbian, gay or bisexual people have experienced homophobia from NHS staff north of the border, while four out of every five gay kids in Renfrewshire have been the target of discrimination.
In the face of these appalling figures, Scotland’s largest health board has launched the zero tolerance campaign to highlight that it treats homophobic attitudes and behaviour by its staff, patients or visitors as seriously as racism.
The campaign has already got off to a flying start with support having already come from a host of Scottish TV stars, politicians, the music industry and the literary world.
Among those to sign up are the BBC’s Young Herriot star Iain de Caestecker, the cast of River City, singer Horse, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Clare Grogan.
Sue Laughlin, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Head of Equality, said: “We know that people experiencing discrimination on the grounds of their sexuality have poorer health and that their recovery from health problems can be adversely affected.
“Fear of being discriminated against can actually be a very serious barrier to people accessing healthcare.
“Similarly we know that our LGBT staff also feel inhibited in coming out to colleagues because they don’t know what kind of reaction they might get.
“Our campaign is a very important step in changing attitudes amongst staff and patients and their families, to create a culture where people can be open about their sexual orientation for the good of their health and overall wellbeing.”
So far almost 1,000 NHS doctors, nurses and other clinical and support staff have pledged their support to the campaign.
Dr Aileen Blower, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, said: “When I heard about the campaign I thought it was a fantastic idea and immediately decided to make the pledge against homophobia.
“I am a lesbian and, while I have not experienced any discrimination in the workplace personally, just hearing about the campaign made me feel more confident.”
If you would like to take a stand against homophobia, pledge your support to the campaign at www.nhsggc.org.uk/homophobia