The sixth Stonewall Awards ceremony, supported by Nationwide, will take place on 3 November 2011 at the V&A museum. The event, one of the most glamorous and star-studded in Stonewall’s fundraising calendar, will be hosted by comedian Stephen K Amos and celebrates those who have made a positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain.
Three of the Awards will be voted for by thousands of Stonewall supporters from across Britain: Hero of the Year, Bigot of the Year and the Stonewall Community Group. The chosen Community Group of the Year – won last year by MindOut - will receive a cheque for £5,000 to support its work.
Nominees for Hero of the Year include Lady Gaga who has received international recognition for her enthusiastic LGB&T equality campaigning, veteran musician Joan Armatrading and Roger Crouch, who has dedicated himself tirelessly to working to raise awareness of homophobic bullying in schools since the death of his son, Dominic, in 2010
The other seven awards – including Writer and Entertainer of the Year – will be chosen by a panel of judges including England women’s national football team coach, Hope Powell, John Partridge, Gok Wan, TV producer Maureen Chadwick and Eddie Mair.
Catherine Bosworth, Stonewall Director of Fundraising, said: ‘The Stonewall Awards recognise those who are making an important contribution to equality in Britain today – inspiring lesbian, gay and bisexual people to lead fulfilling lives at home, at school and at work.’
Tickets for the 2011 Stonewall Awards ceremony are £150 + VAT. To book your ticket visit www.stonewall.org.uk/awards or contact Maria Anna Petrou on 020 7593 2294.
Shortlist for Hero of the Year – An individual who has encouraged, inspired or achieved the most for lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.
Joan Armatrading – Lesbian icon and British singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading has had a long and illustrious career including three Grammy nominations, two BRIT award nominations and an MBE. Joan tied the knot this year to her long term partner Maggie Butler.
Bette Bourne – Bette Bourne is a legendary actor, drag queen and equal rights activist who has been performing on stage since he was 16 years old. In the 1970s he joined the Gay Liberation Front and has been a tireless campaigner and advocate for gay equality. The Times describes Bette as a ‘veritable piece of social and political history’ who has ‘been in the thick of it for the past 50 years’. What better reason to nominate him as Stonewall 2011 Hero of the Year?
Roger Crouch – In 2010 Roger Crouch went through every father’s worst nightmare when his son, Dominic, took his own life at the age of 15. Dominic had allegedly experienced homophobic bullying at school following a game of ‘kiss and tell’. Since Dominic’s death, Roger has dedicated himself tirelessly to working to raise awareness of homophobic bullying in schools.
Lady Gaga – Lady Gaga has received international recognition not just for her iconic pop songs and music videos but for her enthusiastic campaigning for LGB&T equality. She led lobbying efforts for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, has been a vocal advocate of marriage equality and her single ‘Born this Way’ instantly became a gay anthem for a new generation.
Paul Martin OBE – Paul Martin has been with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation since its creation in 2000 and as Chief Executive has developed its campaigns against homophobic hate crime as well as an array of services for LGB&T people in Manchester. The self-professed ‘radical fairy’ was this year awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities.
Shortlist for Bigot of the Year – An individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the last year.
Stephen Green – Christian Voice leader Stephen Green shocked viewers of BBC News in December when he launched a homophobic tirade against new parents David Furnish and Elton John. The BBC was harshly criticised for asking Stephen Green to comment given his previous support for the death penalty for gay people.
Melanie Phillips – Long infamous for her bigoted views on just about everything from the NHS to Barack Obama to gay rights, this year Phillips really outdid herself by comparing gay people to animals, writing that Britain is in the grip of a ‘Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda’ and claiming that gay people ‘risk becoming the new McCarthyites’ simply because they want to stay at a bed and breakfast.
Rt Rev Arthur Roche – In 2010 Leeds-based adoption agency Catholic Care lost their appeal to win an exemption from discrimination law which would allow them to turn away same-sex couples. This didn’t deter the Rt Rev Arthur Roche from continuing to squander valuable money by again and again seeking the right to discriminate against suitable parents. Previously nominated in 2010, Roche has been re-nominated this year in recognition of his tenacity in pursuit of prejudice.
Brian Souter – Brian Souter, famed for bankrolling the Keep the Clause campaign that urged Scottish voters not to repeal legislation in Scotland forbidding local authorities to ‘intentionally promote homosexuality’ (known as Section 2A in Scotland and Section 28 across the rest of the UK) was this year awarded a knighthood.
Bill Walker MSP - In August 2011 Bill Walker MSP caused a storm when he said that gay relationships were not in ‘any way equal’ to straight ones. He then proceeded to complain that he was upset by messages calling him a bigot. If that wasn’t enough, the very next week, when asked for his views on an anti-homophobia campaign logo he told the Sunday Herald that the ‘ludicrous’ logo reminded him of the ‘Nazis’.
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