The nomination of two senior bishops as Bigot of the Year at tonight’s Stonewall Awards has angered an evangelical group of Scottish Christians.
CARE Scotland said the nomination of the Bishop of Hereford and the Archbishop of Birmingham was an insult and in a letter to First Minister Alex Salmond called on the Scottish government to stop working with Stonewall.
Archbishop of Birmingham was nominated for speaking out against new goods and services protections for gay people, threatening to close welfare services and adoption agencies unless the government agreed to sweeping exemptions.
The 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.
Other nominees for bigot of the year are Jeremy Clarkson, Ian Paisley Jnr and Roman Catholic activist Patricia McKeever.
CARE Scotland’s parliamentary officer Gordon Macdonald’s letter to Alex Salmond is quoted in The Scotsman:
“In the past the Scottish Executive/Government has funded Stonewall to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds and continues to consider Stonewall an appropriate organisation for partnership working.
“In the light of these concerns about the nature of Stonewall and its offensive nominations, I would ask you to reconsider the Scottish Government’s relationship with, and funding of, that organisation.”
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, suggested that CARE Scotland need to recognise that the Bishop of Hereford broke the law.
“All are required to respect the laws of the land despite their prejudices.
“We invited the Bishop of Hereford to come this evening, and we look forward to seeing him so we can discuss these matters.”