The British Dance Council, Britain's "governing body of ballroom dancing," has proposed a rule change that would bar same-sex couples from competing, The Associated Press reports.
The proposed change would require competing dance partners to be "one man and one lady." Same-sex dancers and equality advocates were quick to criticize the rule Friday, calling it discriminatory toward same-sex couples. The council claims the change was proposed because all-male couples are "physically stronger and have better stamina" than mixed-sex couples, according to the AP.
"We're looking to regulate the situation, as there is nothing in the rules at the moment," Bryan Allen, president of the British Dance Council, told the AP. But same-sex dancers don't agree with the body's reasoning: Sergio Brilhante, a former competitor whose partner was male, said the generalization does not hold true in all cases.
"Dance is about technique and choreography, about moving well on the floor," Brilhante told the AP. "People didn't react very well in the beginning, but after some judges saw us more than once, they came to understand we just dance like any other competitor."