AA Gill nominated for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award
Sunday Times columnist AA Gill has been nominated for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award for offending lesbian TV presenter Clare Balding.
Gill wrote in a July column that Balding was a “dyke on a bike, puffing up the nooks and crannies at the bottom end of the nation”.
The presenter’s complaint to the Press Complaints Commission was upheld last week.
Other nominees for the dubious honour include Daily Express columnist Frederick Forsyth, who Stonewall said had “mocked” the plight of gay and lesbian asylum seekers, Tory MP Chris Grayling for saying that bed and breakfasts should be allowed to bar gay couples, Bishop of Leeds Arthur Roache, who led the campaign for Catholic adoption agencies to be allowed to bar gay couples and Suzanne Wilkinson, a bed and breakfast owner who refused to let a gay male couple stay in her house.
Balding is one of the five nominees for Stonewall’s Hero of the Year award, with the others being X Factor winner Joe McElderry, rugby player Gareth Thomas, LGBT disability campaigner Kath Gillespie Sells and Dr Jeffrey John, who was twice barred from a senior Church of England position because he is gay.
The awards will take place on Thursday November 4th at the V&A museum in London. TV presenter Sue Perkins will host the event.
Stonewall members will vote on the hero and bigot awards and will also choose the community group of the year.
The other seven awards – including Writer and Entertainer of the Year – will be chosen by a panel of judges including radio and TV presenter Paddy O’Connell and author Sarah Waters. Other judges include Margot James MP and Eileen Gallagher, the co-founder of Shed Productions the company behind Bad Girls and Footballers Wives.
Laura Doughty, Stonewall deputy chief executive, said: “Once again, the Stonewall Awards are shining a light on 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.”
Last year’s winners included Boyzone, Sarah Waters and Joan Bakewell.
Tickets for the 2010 awards are £150 plus VAT and can be booked at www.stonewall.org.uk/awards