One of the nominees for this year’s Stonewall ‘Bigot of the Year’ award has said she is honoured to be nominated.
The award is given to an individual who has gone out of their way to harm, hurt or snub lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the last 12 months.
Last year Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles was named ‘Bully of the Year.’
Roman Catholic activist Patricia McKeever responded to a posting about the second annual Stonewall Awards on a blog.
She said she is happy to be branded a bigot and wonders if she will be invited to the November 1st ceremony at the Victoria Albert museum to collect her prize if she wins.
Ms McKeever’s Stonewall nomination reads:
“The secretive editor of the Catholic Truth website and newsletter, she co-ordinates a relentless campaign to ‘name and shame’ gay Catholic priests, and has been widely condemned for conducting a ‘witch-hunt.'”
Writing in the comments section of a blog called Great Blue World, Ms McKeever said:
“I have been informed that I am shortlisted for your “award” of “Bigot of the Year” – quite an honour! However, you really mustn’t believe all you read in the papers.
“I am not conducting a witch-hunt; our newsletter team reacts to the various concerns (church issues) put to us by our readers and reporting on sexually active priests or priests who contravene Church law by supporting the homosexual lifestyle has been a tiny fraction of our work to date.
“Anyway, I just wanted to set the record straight but I repeat, I am honoured to be considered “Bigot of the Year” by your organisation which seeks to repress all who dare to criticise your lifestyle.
“Anyone with sufficient intelligence to ponder why something should go from being illegal to being almost compulsory must, in your book, be a “bigot.” So, I’m happy to be thus branded.”
Ms McKeever runs Catholic Truth from an office in Edinburgh. It publishes a monthly e-mail newsletter to a claimed 1,000 readers.
In June The Times reported:
“The 58-year-old former secondary school teacher has co-ordinated a relentless campaign to name and shame gay Roman Catholic priests.
“Her newsletter, Catholic Truth, has so far confronted up to a dozen priests about their alleged homosexuality and has named at least four as being gay or allegedly associating with gay men.
“It claims to have privately challenged several more priests after receiving information that they attended a gay bar in Glasgow and has also, it says, confronted a seminarian, a prospective seminarian and a Catholic school teacher.”
This year three of the ten accolades at the annual Stonewall Awards – ‘Hero of the Year,’ ‘Bigot of the Year’ and the ‘Stonewall Barclays Community Group of the Year’ – will be chosen by a vote among more than 6,000 Stonewall supporters from across Britain.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, told PinkNews.co.uk:
“Regrettably for Ms McKeever we only invite the winner of the ‘Bigot of the Year’ award and she is facing some very stiff competition from the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Bishop of Hereford and Jeremy Clarkson. But who knows – if she prays hard enough perhaps her prayers will be answered.”
The other nominations for ‘Bigot of the Year’ are:
* Archbishop of Birmingham – spoke out against our new goods and services protections for gay people, threatening to close welfare services and adoption agencies unless the Government agreed to sweeping exemptions.
* Jeremy Clarkson – Top Gear presenter and journalist, refused to apologise after being reprimanded by BBC bosses for derogatory gay jibes on primetime TV.
* Bishop of Hereford – withdrew a job offer to a youth worker because he was gay, after subjecting him to a series of humiliating personal questions.
* Ian Paisley Jnr – minister in the new Northern Ireland Executive. Said he was “repulsed” by lesbian and gay people – has since refused to apologise.
In a later post on Great Blue World, Ms McKeever said she had mistaken the blog for the Stonewall site.