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Comment: Stonewall’s Bigot of the Year must continue

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  1. And my nomination for bigot of the year is… Stonewall!

    If they will insist on persisting with this childishly silly charade that paints gay people to be on the same, intolerent level as those who persecute us, then it must be prepared to receive what it is so quick and eager to dish out.

    Play fire with fire and you get badly burnt.

    Where is real leadership in Sronewall working to show the world that gay people are bigger than our detractors and oppressors and that we don’t need to resort to the same gutter level to score cheap gimmicky points?!

    1. “If they will insist on persisting with this childishly silly charade that paints gay people to be on the same, intolerent level as those who persecute us”

      It is not intolerant to call someone a bigot.
      It IS intolerant to say same-sex relationships are “harmful to the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing”

      1. Spanner1960 2 Nov 2012, 12:36pm

        It IS intolerant to call somebody a bigot just because they don’t happen to agree with you.

        It is intolerant to call someone a bigot.
        Everyone has their own choices, directions and morals, and just because they happen to conflict with yours does not make them wrong.

        1. “It IS intolerant to call somebody a bigot just because they don’t happen to agree with you.”

          Agreed.

          However it is not intolerant to label a man who actively campaigns for the reduction of LGBT human and civil rights, a bigot.

          This cardinal is a bigot.

        2. Dave North 2 Nov 2012, 1:19pm

          He is not just disagreeing with us.

          He is actively throwing church money and resources at campaigning against us.

          Bigot is as bigot does.

    2. Spanner1960 2 Nov 2012, 12:39pm

      I totally agree.
      Stonewall, as self-appointed representatives of the “gay community” just make LGBT people look like a bunch of spoilt brats chucking their toys out of the cot.

      Puerile and childish stunts like this just diminish our integrity and make the rest of us look like we cannot hold rational and serious debates.

      1. Stonewall’s refusal to sack Summerskill for campaigning against equality has irreparably damaged its reputation.

          1. Pinky – perhaps, seeing as you are a Stonewall supporter, you can explain why a political non-entity like Ruth Davidson has done over the past 12 months to earn an award as the LGBT politician of the year.

            Giving a minnow like Davidson such an award in the 1st place was a monumentallly stupid decision (so far, so Stonewall).

            She has done nothing of merit for the LGBT community bto deserve such an award.

        1. oh shut up you fool – I am so sick of you self loathers -

        2. Now THAT I most certainly do agree with!

      2. @Spanner you have no integrity given your recent comments regarding the deaths of two individual’s as recently reported.

        You have the brass neck to talk about integrity, but this is what we come to expect from the right wing Tory supporters who seem to think they own the PN comments pages, show no regard to anyone else’s views or opinions, yet will be the first to shout freedom of speech / thought must be upheld at all costs. What they often forget is with freedoms come responsibilities!

        The PN readers bigot of the year award 2012 goes to Spanner1960 (the sad thing is I am sure he would relish such an award)

        1. Yay, perpetuate everything the two above commenters have been talking about with regards to demonising those who don’t agree with you. Way to go.

          1. It’s not that I agree or disagree with Spanner – he talks of integrity and he clearly has none given that he made a disgraceful & flippant comment about two people who had died.

            People like him need to be exposed for their despicable lack of respect for others.

            By all means align yourself with this individual but allow me my right to speak up when I feel it is appropriate

          2. I understand you may not approve of him; however, calling him a bigot isn’t going to solve anything, just as stonewall calling the cardinal a bigot doesn’t solve anything. For those who don’t know the cardinal’s history it makes stonewall look really catty and bitchy. Similarly, as I don’t know Spanner’s history, your comment has also come across in the same way. Attacks on other people, whether physical or verbal don’t solve things and can have a negative impact on the opinion of other people towards you (as seen by my response).
            This situation is somewhat analagous to the situation in real life and I really don’t want people to feel contempt for stonewall (and by possible extension the LGBT community) as a result of this award but it is sadly a realistic possibility. By all means, point out someone’s faults and demonstrate what they have done, but using an insult to do it isn’t the way to go. (I probably would have sided with you originally had you not insulted him first)

          3. you cant insult a bigot by calling him or she bigot. clearly the purpose of the ‘bigot of the year award’ is to bring to wider public’s attention the bigoted nature of the recipient and the impact that it has on lives of ordinary gay and lesbian people.

            strangely enough nobody in the past complained about this award. its may be because in reality ‘bigot of the year’ this year was awarded to the religion

          4. @Even

            I think you will find that the true meaning of the word bigot correctly describes Spanner – these comments pages are full of his completely intolerant opinions & deep rooted prejudices.

            This has been clearly demonstrated by his recent flippant remarks. I am very sure Spanner (the hint is in the name) relishes being described as a bigot – unusually he has provide a counter comment here. Interesting

          5. @W6_bloke
            Thing is, people are going to react in the same way to this award that I reacted to your comment. Had you pointed out the issue without throwing the term bigot around I would have been more receptive to what you are trying to point out, because to me, the term bigot is in itself an insult, as it is the case for many other people. You can bring to the attention of others the nasty actions of someone without calling them a bigot. For example, your response to my post explained the actions and comments of Spanner without calling him a bigot and I was much more willing to consider your point of view and understand the actions of the person in question.
            Similarly, it should be equally possible to bring to the fore front of the public’s attention the despicable actions of someone like the cardinal without having to use, what many deem an insulting term, in the process as it looks like we are lowering ourselves to their level.

    3. “then it must be prepared to receive what it is so quick and eager to dish out”

      tell that to the church!

    4. “Same intolerant level”? What has Stonewall done that could equal the pledge of this churchman to put up £100k to interfere in a civil matter?

  2. Commissioner Diss 2 Nov 2012, 12:29pm

    I agree totally that there should be a Bigot Award but the fact I know and others know that StonewallUK knowingly put Organizations on thier Diversity Champions List who are known for Homophobic Bullying leaves a bad after taste.
    Ben Summerskill is no Basil Fawlty to me, he is no way a loveable or character, he is a Businessman who puts Donations well ahead of the need to protect LGBT people in the workplace. The rule that stick in mind is “We will not get involved in complaints of Homophobic Bullying” If you pay to get on the List. And you do have to pay. Ask “How any Orgs on the List have not paid?” And the response is NONE. They have all ironically paid, and the more they donate, strangly, the higher up the list they go!

    1. Cardinal Capone 2 Nov 2012, 1:19pm

      Do you have any evidence for these startling assertions? Or are you just a troll?

      1. Stonewall refuses to reveal how they set their policy making agenda.

        Stonewall refuses to reveal who they are answerable to.

        ALL of the Top 100 Employers on their annual list is a financial contributor to Stonewall.

        That’s not proof of anything, but what is crystal clear is that Stonewall is not answerable to the larger LGBT population.

    2. This is not true…there are many companies who donate plenty of money their way but don’t have anything else to back up their submission and do not do well at all in the index

  3. Scott Rose 2 Nov 2012, 12:34pm

    Would the fanti-gay bigots perhaps prefer if it were called the ” Filthy Heterosupremacist of the Year Award?”

  4. Another Hannah 2 Nov 2012, 12:54pm

    It is perfectly reasonable to give a bigot of the year award, being stopped by them would just make the Couts & Barclay’s awards, not the Stonewall awards! Be careful of corporate sponsorship. Is it sponsorship or a takeover? Stonewall does not exist for corporate banks, if it forgets this it is doomed!

    1. Stonewall’s reputation has not recoverd from the fiasco of Summerskill campaigning against equality.

      I think Stonewall is already doomed.

      If / when we get equal marriage the entire LGBT community will know full well that Stonewall had nothing to do with it.

      Why Summerskill has not been fired is a mystery.

      (Although not really – Stonewall is answerable to its financial backers – not to teh LGBT community.)

        1. Please explain what that ridiculous Uncle Tom – Ruth Davidson – has done to deserve such an award, and what Stonewall was thinking by giving such a useless politician such an award.

          It’s a clear case of the Irrelevant rewarding the Ridiculous, and it blowing up in both their faces.

  5. Why are we getting upset at calling a spade a spade?

    If those opposed to equal marriage were, for example, against mixed race marriage, then they would be correctly labelled racist.

    This is no different!

  6. Gays should keep quiet and let church leaders trample all over them.

  7. Keith Farrell 2 Nov 2012, 1:06pm

    great idea, this must continue, it is a name and shame game. how people can justify a hate capain against a group of people based on who the love is beyond me. to use that evil know as religion as something to prop up a hate campain is not right. the winner deserves this award, if he does not like being seen in this light, then he must changes his way and agree that we are all equal and as such should have equal rights in all things. Funny how they scream when we award them a bigot award but dont scream when they see people going hungry or their priests molesting children

  8. Andrew Boff 2 Nov 2012, 1:08pm

    Dave Spart

  9. It would seem that our movement has as many “Uncle Toms” as the Civil Rights movement had in its early days.
    We do not have to respect the views of those who are intolerant toward our existence. They do not have a right to preach hatred against us for any reason.
    And we have a right to call them on this hateful behavior.

  10. Amen

    If the Cardinal dislikes being called a bigot then he needs to stop being one

    And quislings like Ruth Davidson may want to try criticising people who constantly decide to degrade our humanity rather than chiding us for not sitting their and taking it.

    Maybe that’s what it takes to become a successful LGBT Tory – ducking your head, knowing your place (beneath the rest) and taking their abuse while fighting to make sure the other LGBT people do the same

  11. Im sorry that article is complete and utter nonsense. Your whole defense is that we should all be able to sling mud how very grown up and business like. It is not the objection to calling bigots what they are it is the manner in which this is done.

    If truth be known the award would be won every year by an old guy in Rome if they had the courage of their conviction, but tyhey know this would cause public outcry.

    However what irks me more about your article is the complete and utter lack of knowledge of the great work that some of these business have done to support all strands of equality. To call out a religious leader as a bigot, even though we have our personal views on it, is unpaletable and does not support an inclusive work environment. From my experience those who do well in Stonewalls equality index are the ones who throw money at them and have a policy. A policy does not equate to action.

    That aside can you answer what % of LGB community are members of Stonewall?

    1. Stonewall has 15,000 supporters.

      It represents less than half of 1% of the LGBT community.

      1. About time they engaged with the community then really as its clear the organisation has suffered from polarisation of an unrepresentative view. But they appear to only consult with their existing members which doesn’t inspire as to a progressive organisation. It’s a shame really as in the end we will be left with no group to challenge our needs. Others on here have said pretty much put up and shut up, but its hard to do that when your views are not being sought and a political game played at your expense.

    2. Samuel B. 2 Nov 2012, 1:51pm

      Brilliantly orated Steve M.

      And I am proud to state for the record that Stonewall does NOT speak for me!!

      1. then get ya sad self back in the closet and let the breeders victimize you for another life time – pathetic self loather!

        1. So because people don’t agree with an eye for an eye as a means of achieving equality you somehow deduce that as self loathing? I admire your passion but not your intellect. Ask yourself this what benefit will you have derived from a self congratulatory boo and a hiss against what the world already knows? None. What benefit would you have received from awarding a courageous Catholic priest for refusing to read a hate filled letter? Probably 40 or more parishioners who have found a way to equate to your cause. So you’re negativity has actually regressed our rights and ability to create change.

        2. So not only do we target those who are bigoted, we also target those in our own community who don’t share the same views as us? Well that’s just great isn’t it? Tolerance of those who accept our viewpoint 100% and intolerance to everyone else? Is that where the LGBT community is going nowadays? I’d rather be in a closet than have to deal with that thanks.

    3. This article is right on the money. And for the record, Stonewall counts me as a member and I loathe it, just like the Carholic church claims members who would have nothing to do with it.

  12. Cardinal Capone 2 Nov 2012, 1:27pm

    This article suggests the award is tit for tat offence. I disagree.

    The purpose of the award is not to cause offence. It’s feedback. In the Cardinal’s case maybe it will cause him to conbsider whether his conduct has been as Christ-like as he may have wished.

    1. It is nothing other than tit for tat, it will have zero positive effect other than to give credibility to those who perceive you to have a weak argument as it belittles our justifiable stance on human rights. If they want to be a positive influence on societal change why not have the award for “promoting inclusivity in religion”. I agree the battle has not been won but history shows us that seldom is it won by brute force and ignorance but by spirit, support and inspiring leadership.

  13. Samuel B. 2 Nov 2012, 1:49pm

    If Stonewall will insist on continuing the childish mudslinging, how about a new entry “Traitor of the Year”?

    Or are they worried Mr Summerskill would scoop all the nominations for his much derided stance on gay marriage?

    1. I disagree with you on the general issue, but this made me smile. Mr Summerskill could duke it out with Rupert Everett for that category.

      I hope no-one picks up your idea, though. I fear Mr Everett might see a competition like that as a challenge.

      1. Samuel B. 2 Nov 2012, 6:03pm

        LOL :)

    2. How about a Pink News readers award for Conspiracy Theorist of the Year 2012???

      And the winner is………………………………………………………………………………………..Samuel B. for his outstanding contribution to bluster, deflection & the stymieing of good debate!

      Well done Samuel from all your supporters at NAT, THT, GMFA, NAM (Sadly Peter Scott from Status Prevention was not available to add his personal congratulations) & of course all the PN readers who voted for you (the vote was overwhelmingly in your favour)!

      We all await your acceptance comments

      1. Samuel B. 4 Nov 2012, 3:17pm

        Well, W6, as someone whose revelations on the recent HIV testing thread about the exact nature of the incredibly selfless work they do on a voluntary basis which involves guiding HIV-positive men through the potential minefield of drug regimens to ensure they are receiving the most suitable life-enhancing treatments, believe it or not I would easily consider you to be a contender for next year’s unsung hero award…

  14. “Bigot” is not a derogatory label. It is not an n-word for people of faith. it is a descriptive term for someone who holds irrational views about a minority.

    There is a concerted effort to portray “bigot” as a hate term. This should worry everyone. It is an attempt to rob us of legitimate discourse. You may disagree with the validity of the attribution, but trying to reject the word itself as “name-calling” is an effort to prevent people calling out those who spread irrational hatred.

    Someone disagreeing with me may call me an idiot, an ignoramus, or even a bigot. Pleasant? No. Valid speech? Yes.

    Anti-gay groups need only explain why it is rational to compare gay marriage to slavery. Having done so, congratulations! The bigot charge has been refuted.

    Their problem is they cannot.

    Faced with the fact that their opinions are irrational, they don’t want us to point that out. They want to promote bigotry without anyone calling it what it is.

    Tough luck, bigots.

    1. Thanks atalanta, brilliant comment and very clearly written, I agree 100%.

      Of course bigots don’t like being called what they are, they aren’t supposed to like being called out and shown-up.

    2. Whilst you may not deem the term bigot as not being derogatory but you are calling someone’s beliefs, again as despicable as I personally find them, small minded. That aside its still slinging a label around that will not help further the cause for equality. By all means use the term as a means of reducing the credibility of the individual but the issue here is more about is this appropriate manner or type of event to do this? It’s almost panto like. One wonders did the audience all hiss and boo at the giving of the award? What was the intended outcome of the award? I hardly think there is a person who has an interest in equality who is not aware of these individuals. So all that this award has achieved is to make people of faith feel under attack and close ranks. Now you have to agree that alienation is not a winning strategy. For an organisation that seeks to champion anti bullying they really need to look at the impact of what they have done for their credibility.

      1. Did you feel as strongly about BotY when it was awarded in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011?

          1. Oh good, consistent at least. Though I have no recollection of such a spirited attack against it in previous years.

  15. Well written.Good job

  16. Christopher Travers 2 Nov 2012, 4:33pm

    When one remains a MINORITY – as we do – very much so – it is imcumbent on OUR media outlets to simply tell it like it is. That the Cardinal IS a bigot is not being disputed. That it has been brought to the attention of the larger world is the aim – the goal – and the point. We are not at a place socially or politically where we can expect great and good behavior from the majority. Until that day we MUST publish yearly lists reminding our opponents that we are watching, noting and broadcasting their behavior to the world making it clear to all who will listen that we are at risk each and every day and we must defend ourselves. SILENCE = DEATH – or have you fogotten? This is NOT childish behavior nor a silly charade nor a gimmick. It is justice. My 17-year same-sex relationship is NOT repugnant or harmful to physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. It is beautiful – it is sacred. This must be said LOUDLY again and again ESPECIALLY to the Catholic Church – over and over and over again!

    1. Christopher I totally agree with what you have said that Stonewall should respond to articles in the media as and when they are raised in an appropriate manner. They should continue to lobby and advance change. However the issue is will an annual award for the baddest of the bad achieve those stated objectives? Other than this year its not had much media interest as it didn’t reveal anything newsworthy

  17. Absolutely right that Bigot of the Year continues particularly in the light of comments made by smarmy self seaking politicians, English or Scottish

  18. Bigots are people who cannot handle others having differing opinions… that would be stonewall as much as anyone else.

  19. Stonewall are wrong to persist in their bigot of the year charade and Ruth Davidson and the two banks are right in the stands they have taken. They also do a disservice by distracting from what matters.

    Councils and other public organisations take great pride in being nominated as being gay friendly and no doubt Stonewall have made major inroads in exposing real homophobia and bigotry.

    However, these awards are a step too far. In some cases these may be merited and in other cases not. Such folk are unnecessarily attacked and vilified for expressing an opinion that Stonewall happens to disagree with and in doing so attack one of the great institutions in our democracy – free speech.

    1. Free speech doesn’t come without consequences, nobody stopped this Catholic bigot from spouting his views.

      1. Correct Pavlos and quite rightly Stonewall responded to the articles at that point in time and in majority of cases in an appropriate and factual manner. A year end award though for baddest of the bad serves no purpose though other than to create antagonistic responses and in my opinion is detrimental to the work that has preceded it in challenging inappropriate commentary.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 3 Nov 2012, 4:03pm

      Expressing an opinion I’m all for but when it crosses the line by saying things that just aren’t true and equally insulting, then the term bigot is more than apt. Equal marriage opponents for instance often resort to claiming that if we are allowed to marry that it could bring about a demand for polygamous, incestuous and bestial relationships without providing one shred of evidence or facts. A vile, disgusting, mendacious set of claims supported by the majority in the religious hierarchies. Calling equal marriage “grotesque” is denigrating our relationships and two successive popes have called same-sex intimacy intrinsically evil. “Bigot” in this context definitely warrants the term and is appropriate. Liars are often bigoted. Kudos to Stonewall for doing what no other organisation has dared do and calling bigotry for what it really is. Too damned bad if it makes people uncomfortable, the truth always hurts. If people don’t like being called a bigot, then stop being one.

  20. It should continue because it does an affect, especially socially. People will think twice about inviting the Bigot of the Year to anything in case it rubs off on them.

  21. Excellent comments Chris. it is essential we stand up to bigotry – this is perhaps the first year we have been spoilt for choice, and no wonder the call to shut this award down grows louder. If we don’t make ourselves heard, we get trampled on and smothered.

  22. Robert Brown 3 Nov 2012, 7:19am

    Considering Chris Ward has jumped from one party of liberal tendencies to one of anti-equality, I know why he would love to have the bigot of the year award kept.

    Has he also purchased his ‘near £200′ a ticket for the Stonewall event?

  23. I work for.barclays and am disappointed that they have decided to cancel the sponsorship but i certainly couldn’t describe them as only paying lip service to lgbt issues by funding in the first place, we have a fantastic level of support there, courses and mentoring programmes for lgbt new entrants and ‘the recently out’! Its a shame but people have to remember that corporate sponsors are just that, corporate! You can’t be a business and offend customers i.e. the religious nut jobs that i am paid to help financially (before i get negative comments for that one Im NOT in the investments libor fixing side of the bank!)

    1. If Barclays Bank doesn’t like the award of bigot then it must in turn agree with what those bigots say (and they haven’t contered that argument yet). And if a few emails telling them how to run their business has them running scared, who the hell is running the bank.
      Oh, forgot.
      BIGOTS.
      I say all LGBT people should now remove their accounts from Barclays and Coutts now, and leave them to the wroth of the religious fundamentalists.
      And by the way – it doesn’t take money to bestow the award of bigot either. So Barclays take your money (if you have any left) and Get Stuffed!

  24. Robert Brown 3 Nov 2012, 11:12pm

    Chris Ward in his article says: “I’ve never understood Stonewall. Not just because I can’t help but imagine their Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill, as a rather dull Basil Fawlty (“Whatever you do, don’t mention trans!”). But I was present at the Lib Dem Conference meeting just two years ago where Summerskill tried painfully to squirrel his way out of supporting equal marriage.

    That’d be the campaign they not only now support, but like taking credit for whilst attacking other politicians who were latecomers to the LGBT party.”

    Is that why he jumped to the Labour Party, because they are now jumping on the Liberal Democrat bandwagon and using speeches by Liberal Democrat MPs and policies taken from the Liberal Democrat manifesto?

    Interesting . . .

    http://www.rainbow-citizen.com

  25. I’m sorry I don’t agree…victimising those who try to victimise us, it just isn’t the way forward at all; challenge the argument, and not the person. All disagreements can be overcome in an assertive way; with technology, there are more methods now than there have ever been for everyone to have their voice heard and arguments challenged. ‘Bigot of the Year’ is an aggressive term; please don’t bring us down to that level of mud-slinging and name-calling; we’re better than that!

  26. Interesting article Pavlos, and I’m a bit undecided now! What’s important though is that all this has created quite a stir; which promotes discussion, which makes people think; maybe ‘Bigot of the Year’ really does have it’s benefits!

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