Rugby referee Nigel Owens, Bishop of Hereford and 'Father of gay law reform' Antony Grey - all winners at the second Stonewall Awards

The Second Stonewall Awards ceremony, hosted by TV presenter Anthony Crank, took place this evening. The star-studded event, sponsored for the second year by Barclays, celebrated the positive contributions made by individuals and organisations – both gay and straight – to the lives of gay people across Britain in 2007.

The winners were:

  • Publication of the Year  The Guardian  For supportive coverage of a wealth of lesbian and gay issues during the last 12 months across both its news and features sections
  • Politician of the Year  Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, Secretary of State for Health, and Angela Eagle MP, Treasury Minister, joint winners.  For their work on the 2007 Sexual Orientation Regulations
  • Writer of the Year Val McDermid  For this year’s best-selling crime thriller Beneath the Bleeding. Her Wire in the Blood has been an award-winning ITV series
  • Sports Personality of the Year  Nigel Owens  Openly-gay international rugby referee who made his pioneering Rugby World Cup debut in France in October 2007
  • Bigot of the Year  The Bishop of Hereford, Anthony Priddis  An Employment Tribunal found in July that the Bishop unlawfully withdrew a job offer to a gay North Wales youth worker John Reaney after subjecting him to humiliating personal questioning
  • Journalist of the Year  Philip Hensher, The Independent  Regularly features gay issues in a column that is compellingly forthright, insightful and acerbic
  • Broadcast of the Year  Hollyoaks, Channel 4  For its sympathetic and convincing handling of the gritty and emotional storyline about the developing relationship between teenagers John Paul and Craig
  • Stonewall & Barclays Community Group of the Year  London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard  For providing unsung 24-hour support and advice to thousands of gay people. Winner of a £5000 cheque presented by Barclays group Vice Chairman Gary Hoffman
    Entertainer of the Year  Dan Gillespie Sells  Openly-gay lead singer of the hugely successful band The Feeling, the most widely-played on UK radio in last 12 months
  • Hero of the Year Antony Grey  Former Secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, he spearheaded the campaign which resulted in the first partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967

Other prominent Welsh nominees for 2007 Stonewall Awards included Cardiff-based Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies and Time Out’s Paul Burston, both short-listed for Writer of the Year. Peter Hain, Work and Pensions Secretary and MP for Neath, was nominated as Politician of the Year.

The Awards ceremony took place at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum before an audience of 400 people. Award-winners were selected by a panel of judges including Clare Balding, Matt Lucas, Nicky Campbell and Paul Gambaccini. Three awards – for Hero, Bully and Community Group of the Year - were voted for by 6,000 Stonewall supporters from across Britain.

Liz Morgan, Director of Stonewall Cymru, said: ‘We are delighted that Welsh speaking International Rugby Referee Nigel Owens has won the accolade of Sports Personality of the Year. It sends out a clear message to lesbian and gay people in the sporting world that it’s okay to be different and still achieve your potential in what is traditionally a heterosexual, macho environment.

‘This year’s  Stonewall Awards included a strong list of nominees from Wales which recognises the contribution and support from Wales to lesbian and gay people over the past twelve months.’

Ben Summerskill, Stonewall Chief Executive, said: ‘We are indebted to the winners of these awards for the inspiration and support and encouragement that so many have shown to lesbian and gay people across Britain during the last year.

‘We still have many bridges to cross but we’ve come further in my lifetime that many of us once thought possible. These awards deliberately recognise some of the individuals and organisations, not just lesbian and gay but straight too, who have given us such good cause to celebrate in recent years.’

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