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Stonewall defends ‘bigot’ awards category after banks withdraw support

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  1. Patrick Mc Crossan 30 Oct 2012, 4:17pm

    I think these banks are correct to withdraw support.

    Stonewall seem to go out of their way to create problems.

    While many people have their views and we in the LGBT community do not agree to these views we do not need to be so nasty in our approach to responding to these views.

    I often believe that while we seek fairness and equality as a small minority we should not go out of our way to be abusive and insulting and going to the level of others whose views we do not agree with..

    There is an element of Bullying when you seek nominations for a Bigot of the year.

    It sounds nasty and in these days of needing support I can see why these banks are uncomfortable about funding an event that in basic terms promotes hatred towards a group or individual.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Oct 2012, 5:00pm

      Abuse and insults are one thing but when our opponents spread lies, gross misinformation about who we are and calling for discrimination by trying to dictate to our government that we should be discriminated against in regard to access to equal civil marriage, often using hateful rhetoric which can only foment homophobia and in the worst case scenario, violence toward us, then the term “bigot” is an appropriate application be they religious or not. Their fierce, irrational opposition only fuels the hatred. Barclays should think twice. Religious nutters hide behind religion believing it gives them carte blanche to hurl insult, abuse, denigration, and vilification of LGBT people. I suspect Barclays has caved in to them. It’s not ok for our foes to get away with it while castigating Stonewall for taking action in the form of this award. Our opponents are incapable of rational, reasoned debate when they resort to the most disgusting comments about LGBT people, all of them lies.

    2. Last year’s bigot was Melanie Phillips. She has not printed any anti-gay columns in her Daily Mail column since that title was bestowed on her. Therefore I would call that a good result in stamping out homophobia in print.

      1. Melanie Phillips just tells the truth.

        The truth hurts.

        1. A simplistic remark on every level.

    3. I agree with you. I personally find the term bigot incredibly hateful and, even in the most vehement of arguments with people that appear to be homophobic, I will never use the term even if it seems applicable. There are much better ways of getting across the message of “bigot of the year” without being quite so insulting about it, and with a bit of creativity, some of them could be very amusing too.
      I find nowadays that one of the things that people are starting to dislike about the gay community is their aggression towards groups for expressing slightly homophobic views, and although those people don’t understand the things that the LGBT community necessarily goes through, having awards such as “bigot of the year” merely reinforces the intolerance from the side that demands tolerance in their eyes and as such is probably going to have a negative impact. And yes, I can see why the banks are uncomfortable, nonetheless the overall message of the evening is a positive one.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Oct 2012, 7:35pm

        I wouldn’t call equating equal marriage with bestiality, incest and polygamy as “slightly homophobic vieww”. They are vile, disgusting totally unacceptable and just completely untrue. When religious nutters say such things and often do including some in the hierarchy of the mainstream cults, then it proves just how bigoted they really are hiding behind their religion to justify what they say. The minute we retaliate, they cry “abuse of religious freedom” or that they’re being persecuted for their beliefs. Words have consequences and are a two way street. If they can’t take it, then they should keep their mouths shut or else face the obvious, especially when it comes to matters that are none of their concern, equal civil marriage being one of them. If they think we are going to sit back and take it quietly by turning the other cheek, something that they infrequently do yet purport to be christians, they are very much mistaken.

        1. I’m not talking about the worst cases, but nowadays the LGBT community will throw the word bigot out at anyone who has any slight anti-gay inkling on the grounds of their religion. Such people are nutters, and happen to be religious, but from what I’ve seen, the LGBT community seems to lash out more against religious groups then the other way around. It only takes one Christian to make a comment for a whole group of LGBT commenters to accuse all Christians of being bigoted.
          Thing is, we look down on these people for the things they say, but these kinds of awards are merely stooping to their level and frankly I find it disgusting that we on the one hand try to seperate ourselves from bigoted practices, while at the same time allowing such things to go on in the name of equal rights. It’s totally hypocritical. Sometimes fighting fire with fire simply isn’t the answer. However, if Stonewall is going to do so, then it’s only to be expected that some of their partners will be a bit wary.

    4. Well few do fake victimhood better than the British banks and the Christian Right, as Patrick’s hysterical diatribe illustrates. I can see why they saw eye to eye on this one.

      I think it shows up how sad the lobbying industry is though. Is there really no better way of making a difference these days than appealing to sleazebags like Barclays for money?

      1. I would hardly call Patrick’s post a “hysterical diatribe”. I may not agree with him but it is expressed as a reasoned and calm opinion.

        1. I know you’re an airheaded troll, but I’m going to assume this isn’t an alternate account of Patrick’s and respond.

          Tell me how the post is reasoned and calm. It’s barely even coherent. He called the “bigot of the year” prize an act of “bullying”. He thinks Simon Lokodo, Cardinal O’Brien are victims of Stonewall’s “bullying”. If not hysterical, then certainly deluded.

          If somebody went out in public dressed up in blackface, walked up to a black person and started talking in mock patois and I were to say “**** off you racist”, you would probably chide me for hurting the racist’s feelings. That’s how twisted your worldview is.

          1. Your aggressive attitude is unnecessary. Anyone who appears to disagree with your ramblings is tainted as a “troll” with “twisted” views. You really should learn to better identify your enemies, because I’m not one of them.

  2. “we have an obligation to the 3.6 million gay people to do what is right”

    That is NOT what he said when they were trying to defend their position on marriage equality in 2009/2010 when they told us crazy marriage equality enthusiasts that they only represented those who donate to them!!

    I’m struggling to find even an ounce of sympathy for their position but their past arrogance makes it difficult despite my disgust at the right wing crazies behind the campaign against them.

  3. Craig Denney 30 Oct 2012, 4:24pm

    Stonewall has been accused of getting to close to many of it’s supporters lately and it’s nice to see they are still standing up for gay rights.

    Tell that Barclays-Banker to F-off!

  4. Its a tough one! The sponsors have to be vigilant in supporting something that, to many would be seen to be bullying and yet Stonewall need to let it be known that bigotry is still rife.

    Suggestion to Stonewall, remove the Bigot award from the ceremony itself and award it separately. That way, you keep your sponsors happy but also, you can continue to highlight the issues of certain people bigotry.

    1. David Wainwright 30 Oct 2012, 4:29pm

      Could hold a SPECIAL BIGOTS AWARD CEREMONY there are so many of them they could have a whole night dedicated to exposing them ALL :)

      1. Bit like the Golden Raspberries, yes indeed

  5. Scott Rose 30 Oct 2012, 4:30pm

    All bullying non-acceptance of gay people and refusal of their equality IS BIGOTRY.

  6. Don’t like any of these ‘bigots’,, however, if you want to be a respected organisation, you shouldnt get into trading insults. They could easily make the award under a different title. And considering they didn’t support equal marriage in 2009, to know call someone else that doesn’t a bigot is quite rich really.

    1. out of interest what would you call the award? what is the politically correct term for a bigot?

      Bigot seems a neutral and descriptive word for someone who actively promotes the cause of bigotry. What term do you think would be acceptable? bearing in mind they they will object to anything other than unconditional flattery.

      1. The “dinosaur award” for the person who has the greatest difficulty keeping up with history 8-)

      2. I like Evan’s suggestion :-)

      3. “Person who does not wish to be labelled a bigot, yet if challenged on their public statements is unable to back them up in a compelling, truthful, non-emotional way of the year award”

        1. mickie_newton 2 Nov 2012, 12:37am

          Would that fit on the plate on the award? lol

          Does “P.W.D.N.W.T.B.L.A.B.Y.I.C.O.T.P.S.I.U.T.B.T.U.I.A.C.T.N.E.W.O.T.Y. Awarder!” sound better?! Hmmm I swear that’s longer! lol

  7. Scott Rose 30 Oct 2012, 4:31pm

    The bank is caving in to the bigots. When bigots call the bank to complain, the bank employees should say “We support LGBT equality unconditionally” and then hang up the phone.

    1. Stonewall can also have a category “Who caved in the most to the bigots.”

      1. Clegg is a front runner

  8. Robert Brown 30 Oct 2012, 4:43pm

    Me thinks Stonewall are defending their ‘near £200 a ticket’ event . . . rather than the ‘bigot of the year’ title . . .

    SUCH a shame Stonewall price out those who are on low wages, many local LGBT organisations and others who are actually doing the work ‘on the ground’ so to speak.

    £200 goes a LONG way for a local LGBT voluntary group in the UK . . .


  9. Dan Filson 30 Oct 2012, 4:43pm

    It’s unlikely te winner will turn up to collect their award, so separating this off from the rest of the awards has a point. But what is at issue here is a sponsor using its leverage to force a change in hw Stonewall operates. I’m uneasy about that and where it could lead – no criticism ever of the RC Church, for example, or the City?

    1. It’s a sponsor’s choice whether to support or not. If the bigot award upsets them enough then they can choose to withdraw their money; someone else will take their place.

  10. Peter & Michael 30 Oct 2012, 5:21pm

    We bank with Barclays and if they cannot support us two, then we will have no option but to close our account, we shall see.

    1. Pathetic

    2. Barclays has a fantastic track record on LGBT issues. They are in the top 10 best places to work in the UK for LGBT people. They draw a line at calling out bigots. That doesn’t negate all the wonderful things they do do.

  11. How can bigotry be fought if we’re not allowed to point out when it happens?

  12. Stonewall have made many blunders in the last few years but on this occasion they are right to stand up to Barclays and Coutts. Neither bank has a great reputaion anyway! Co-op/Smile and Nationwide are pretty good alternatives.

  13. Barclays and Coutts can go f*** themselves.

    Hopefully the rebuff to these 2 banks is a sign that Stonewall is trying to distance itself from its corporate sponsors, as these corporate sponsors seem to wield far too much influence on Stonewall

  14. Note to Stonewall – if the ‘Bigot of the Year’ category is removed from the list for next year’s ceremony, it will be an admission that Stonewall is answerable solely to its corporate sponsors (an accusation regularly made against Stonewall.)

  15. Kathryn Howie 30 Oct 2012, 6:16pm

    I would imagine the nominated bigots of the year and their apoligists would also object to any other accurate descriptive term for their behaviour and hate speech.
    As for Barclays Bank – this bank got boycotted for supporting apartied in South Africa, so seems they havent changed their corporate attitude so much, just the group they want to throw under the train so they dont upset their financers – follow the money.


  16. In view of all the issues around tax avoidance concerning Barclays, personally they are not a company I’d choose to have any sort of relationship with.

  17. It’s so predictable really. Corporations want to get in bed with gay rights organisations for the street cred it gives them with a certain demographic, but their PR guys get jittery when they discover that the fight for equal rights isn’t all about shaking hands and cozying up to people. Quelle surprise, Barclays dear, it’s all about exposing the bigots too. If they pull out of their sponsorship agreement then I hope Stonewall will relinquish their gay-friendly employer of the year award. They don’t deserve it for trying to stifle this award out of existence.

  18. Personally I blame Nick Clegg for caving in and altering his speech in order to keep Lord Carey and fellow bigots happy.

    1. I agree the implication of Cleggs apology was that it is unreasonable to describe bigots as bigots, and they now use this as a precedent. Overall he has done more harm than good on pretty much every issue he touches,

  19. Barclays will be making a VERY big mistake if they try to appease a few religious extremists by censoring Stonewall’s Bigot of The Year. They will lose far many more accounts than they will gain, especially among young customers who represent Barclays’ future.

    Why not ask Barclays’ new Chief Executive Antony Jenkins not to support the bigots?

    If Barclays do go ahead and cut off support, then I’ll nominate them for the first Stonewall ‘Corporate Bigot of the Year’ !

    1. Dex (@MrDexB) 30 Oct 2012, 8:06pm

      Great idea. I’m defintely emailing him tonight!

    2. Don’t forget “we are all in this together”, and you should’ve also mentioned Coutts, where chic Tory Queens have accounts. Barclays is for plebs.

      1. Happy to oblige ! Coutts’ CEO is Michael Morley.

  20. If you read the dictionary the definition of bigot it is not a term of abuse or insult. It simply describes a person who holds to their beliefs in the face of reason or logical argument. (It’s one of the point Christians are making that their faith and the bible are not open to discussion.) If someone acts like this then they are a bigot. It’s not an insult. What other word should people use for these people if suddenly the correct word has now become something we can’t use.

    The point BS correctly highlight is that these people are actively harming others and therefore should be made public. These sponsors are wrong to bully Stonewalll in not doing their job.

  21. While it is encouraging that mainstream corporate sponsors support Stonewall, it’s correct for Stonewall to prevent them from determining policy.

    LGBT people may well want and need to become full, equal members of mainstream society, but it does not have to be entirely on other people’s terms.

    We have important insights and experiences to contribute to mainstream society, one of which is how important it is to challenge religious bullies and bigots. These people have caused LGBT folks, and others, no end of harm over the centuries.

    [Another important contribution we have to make relates to personal sexual liberation after centuries of religious and guilt-laden poisoning of human sexuality.]

    The LGBT movement needs to keep its cutting edge. Those banks who stop sponsorship will no doubt understand when LGBT people close our accounts with them.

  22. giving ANY credit to a bank, whatsoever? Nonsense.
    The banking industry, though unfortunately necessary, is PARASITIC in nature.
    One shouldn’t be naive enough to believe any of their positions has any moral or ethical value, all they do has a business agenda. Today they “support” Stonewall, tomorrow they cave in to the bigots. Every time, it’s in the hope to score political points, somehow.

  23. Dex (@MrDexB) 30 Oct 2012, 8:05pm

    I’ve emailed Stonewall if they should change the name of the award slightly and who should be nominated so it doesn’t attack “opinion”, so that sponsors like my bank doesn’t drop out just because of the word bigot!

  24. A big big big Thank You once again to Mr CaMoron and especially to Mr Clegg, for highlighting how “wrong and intolerant” “teh immoral gays” really are. Both the leader of the Tories and the leader of their enablers, are slowly but surely “repairing” society once again and leading institutions, companies and organisations into the “right” moral track. Teh gays, teh foreign immigrants, teh ethnics, teh disabled, and a few otehrs cannot go on ignoring the moral wills of the people, and thankfully we have brave leaders to put all these people once again in their correct places.

  25. Robert Brown 30 Oct 2012, 8:11pm

    They should cancel this year’s awards and give the same amount of money of each ticket purchased to smaller LGBT organisations who could do with the ‘near £200 a ticket’ to pay for at least 20 hours of a part-time worker . . .


  26. Robert Brown 30 Oct 2012, 8:12pm

    They should cancel this year’s awards and give the same amount of money of each ticket purchased to smaller LGBT organisations who could do with the ‘near £200 a ticket’ to pay for at least 20 hours of a part-time worker . . .

    Smaller organisations are suffering and could do with the cash . . .


  27. Two wrongs don’t make a right, Stonewall.

    If you want to be taken seriously, drop the name-calling and win respect by showing that gay people know better than to stoop to the basement level of our detractors and antagonists.

    1. Exactly. My thoughts precisely.

  28. Why did Stonewall think it was acceptable to accept money from Barclays in the first place?

    “The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, Barclays and HSBC have all provided funding to the makers of cluster bombs, even as international opinion turns against a weapons system that is inherently indiscriminate and routinely maims or kills civilians.”

  29. I’ll be happy as long as they stop nominating bigots for Journalist of the Year too.

  30. No doubt Barclays will now slide down Stonewall’s index?
    That’s my issue here, it’s the tactics, not the message. Corporations ‘compete’ to be more gay friendly, (‘how much do you want to be in my gang?) not a good approach in my view. By nominating for a ‘bigot’, regardless of the dictionary definition, it will be interpreted as name-calling. And then add to that the costs of supporting them or attending events, they really are coming across as arrogant. This is not good as to the general public, they are the dominant face of gay politics.

  31. Ah, yes.
    Another case of bigots using free speech to shoot out an array of the vilest of comments against disliked minorities. But being the first in line to complain when someone objects to it and fires one back.

  32. GingerlyColors 30 Oct 2012, 9:11pm

    It looks like that Barclays and Coutts will end up high on Stonewall’s list of bigots next year. I think that bankers have caused enough damage as it is by bankrupting the world’s economy without kicking off over trivial things such as ‘Bigot of the Year’ awards. Why can’t those bankers get themselves a proper job, say traffic wardens?

  33. Christian Concern (oh how ironic that name is) sent round an email a few days ago as an Action Alert basically telling all its sheep-like supporters to contact these banks and complain. Here’s an extract:

    “Let’s make sure they’re aware that many of their employees, customers and shareholders will be unhappy about this.
    Join our #BigotAward Twitter campaign by following us @CConcern and retweeting our messages
    Contact the leaders of Barclays, PwC and Coutts here”

    They’re determinde to beat down gay people at every opportunity they get. I don’t believe they care at all about whether it’s right or wrong to have a Bigot Award. All they see is an opportunity to pick on anything gay.

    Spiteful, hateful bigots. I’d give the award to them and all the other ‘Christians’.

  34. Leave Coutts and Barclays to their evangelical bigots and see where it gets them. who the hell banks with Coutts anyway?
    They’ll be holding prayer meetings next.

    1. I believe the Supreme Governor of the Church of England banks with Coutts…

  35. Hmm, I was torn at first, thinking are they right to say that, but NO. Support with strings is not support. If what is said is factual and accurate,what are they complaining about?

  36. It’s imperative that Stonewall call Barclays’ and Coutts’ bluff. If Stonewall fail to do so, then they will lose even more credibility and non-corporate support.

    Calling the bankers’ bluff is a win-win situation.

    If Barclays / Coutts back off, then they’ll look a right wunch of bankers. :-)

    However, if the bankers do carry out their threat to withdraw their financial backing, then Stonewall gain kudos because they will have shown that they won’t let their sponsors dictate which policies they should adopt.

  37. friday jones 30 Oct 2012, 10:37pm

    $$$$$$tonewall. The UK’s version of the Log Cabin Republicans. Does getting thrown under a double-decker bus hurt worse than the regular kind?

  38. HM Queen Elizabeth II banks with Coutts

    1. So did Queen Victoria, when the head of the bank was her friend, Angela Burdett-Coutts, a major philanthropist, who was widely known to be a lesbian.

  39. I should drop the word bigot,the award is really childish. Looking at it dispassionately there is as much intolerant obstinate, prejudiced and fixed thinking here as what the religious community are accused of. Each side of the argument has a particular view on the nature of marriage. The level of material inequality before the law is almost non existent. There are Christians and Gay people who sit either side of the divide. The bad blood generated is disproportionate and does not justify terms like Gaystapo, grotesque, bigot or homophobe. The active persecution of both Gay people and Christians in other parts of the world is far more worthy of our attention

    1. Call it the “Brickwall” award instead of “Bigot of the Year”; it should be possible to do that with some humour.

      1. Exactly. Why bigot when you can get away with the same meaning to much more comedic effects? :)

  40. God bless them for standing up to the Christapos and not backing down from the oppressors that they are. The Jews backed down and you know what happened to them. No we have to stand up for our rights and freedoms the same as anybody else. They say freedom is not free so we all need to pay the price for freedom and demand it and fight for it until it is ours. After all we only want to marry the ones we love and decent jobs. We don’t want to take over the world, that kind of talk comes from the anti-gay Christians who spend millions on propaganda and anti-gay christian hate groups to stop gay marriage while thousands of children die of hunger around the world. If only these anti-gay Christians haters spent money on helping people instead of stopping them maybe religion would not be in the condition it is today. People are leaving the Christian church today because they have become a cult of hate and destruction, not only of gays but children who they have been raping and abusing for ever

  41. This would be the Barclays whose shares have already dropped 4% only this morning?

  42. We mustn’t bully Simon Lokodo or Scott Lively you guys. Think of their precious, sensitive Christian souls.

  43. Stonewall has had an annual Bigot of the Year award since 2007 at least, why are the banks on getting huffy about it now?

  44. Bravo! Keep the bigot of the year category!!

  45. Dennis Hambridge 31 Oct 2012, 3:29pm

    firstly lets face it Stonewall do,s near anything to grab a few bob, Barclays Bank is globally one of, if not the most unethical banks going and should not even be invited by Stonewall to sponsor anything, apart from Stonewall being a Gay Masonic Lodge that,s why i say there just money grabbers that,s why most of us prominent activists don,t advocate .them.
    So just tell Barclays and any other such like sponsors to sling their hook, the LGBT community really can do without them

  46. Lol, they talk about highlighting bigotry and yet in the past they have been bigoted towards transgender people. I do think bigotry needs to be highlighted and dealt with, but I find what they’re saying slightly hypocritical. Perhaps Stonewall should work on their own first before calling out other people.

  47. Chris Bailey 1 Nov 2012, 11:42pm

    Because of course Barclays have a totally unblemished corporate record. Oh, hang on…

  48. mickie_newton 2 Nov 2012, 12:30am

    Maybe Barclays are worried that Stonewall may award someone from their group!?

  49. bill Cort 2 Nov 2012, 9:39am

    Its disgusting that stonewall takes money from organizations such as Barclays and Couts , that’s why I don’t support Stonewall

  50. Stonewall should let go Coutts and Barclays. Companies that embrace anti-gay bigotry have no place in the list of sponsors of a LGBT equality charity event.

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