UK dance body seeks to ban same-sex competitors

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The governing body of ballroom dancing in Britain has stirred controversy by proposing to ban same-sex couples from competitions.

The British Dance Council says it is voting to change the definition of a competing partnership to be "one man and one lady" - a move that equality campaigners and same-sex dancers say is discriminatory.

Dancers argue that they should be judged by their dancing, not their gender. But in a letter to members, the body's president Bryan Allen said that competition organizers should consider the advantage that "physical strength and stamina" gives a same-sex couple over rival dancers.

Sergio Brilhante, a former professional who competed with a male partner, says Friday that argument may work for sports like tennis, but it does not apply to dance.

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