O’Brien’s opposition to same-sex marriage and the Scottish politicians endorsing it is practically legendary: In August, he ordered for National Marriage Sunday, when all 500 of Scotland’s Catholic parishes were to “place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage.”
And O’Brien expressed “deep disappointment” that the Scottish government was considering marriage equality. “The Church’s teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that Governments, politicians or Parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality,” he said. “We promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them that redefining marriage would be wrong for society.”
Gok Wan, host of the dating game show Baggage, emceed the awards, which honor (mostly) organizations and individuals who have made a positive contribution to Britain’s LGBT community. Held at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, the gala event also saw comedian Sue Perkins named Entertainer of the year.
A panel of judges–including rugby pro Ben Cohen–picked most of the winners, but Bigot of the Year is voted on by Stonewall members and supporters. It’s gotten some negative press in recent years, as Britain becomes familiar with American-style political correctness. (Barclays Bank has threatened to cut its support of the ceremony if the category isn’t dropped next year.)
Even one legitimate Stonewall honoree spoke out against the dubious distinction: “Where I disagree with Stonewall in these awards is the need to call people names like ‘bigot’,” said lesbian Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson, who won Politician of the Year. “It is simply wrong. The case for equality is far better made by demonstrating the sort of generosity, tolerance and love we would wish to see more of in this world.”
How far would the queens at Stonewall—you know, the place the group takes its name from—have gotten if they just demonstrated “love” to the bigots who tried to throw them on the trash heap?
How far would AIDS activism have gone?
We have to be careful not to revel in the kind of demonization the fundamentalist right does when attacking us, but shouldn’t we at least be able to call out the haters?
“Bigot” is actually pretty tame compared to what we’d really like to call them.