Lord Alli, Russian LGBT Network lead Hero nominees for Stonewall Awards in landmark year

Stonewall today announces a string of nominees in the running for the eighth annual Stonewall Awards.

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Taking place on Thursday 7 November at the V&A the Awards, supported by Gender Gap, recognise individuals who’ve made a real difference to the lives of gay people around the world – as well as highlighting those who have gratuitously caused offence and distress. This year’s judges include Richard Madeley, Jeanette Winterson and Will Young.

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2013 Hero of the Year nominees include Lord Alli, for his 15 years of tireless campaigning in the House of Lords, Bishop Nicholas Holtam who has been an articulate advocate of equality within the Church of England and the Russian LGBT Network, which continues to campaign despite persecution and oppression.

Bigot of the Year nominees include historian Niall Ferguson, whose comments about the economist John Maynard Keynes caused outrage, UKIP parliamentary candidate Winston McKenzie, who compared same-sex parenting to child abuse, and Scott Lively, an American evangelist who has aggressively exported homophobia around the globe.

Nominees for Politician of the Year recognise those whose tireless work helped secure equal marriage in England and Wales. They include Conservative Baroness Stowell, LibDem Baroness Barker, Plaid Cymru’s Lord Elis-Thomas, Nick Herbert MP, Labour’s Baroness Thornton and the Jenkin Family (Lord Jenkin, Baroness Jenkin and Bernard Jenkin MP).

Broadcast of the Year nominees include BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off, CBBC’s Marrying Mum and Dad and Channel 4’s long running teen drama Hollyoaks.

Stonewall Deputy Chief Executive Laura Doughty said: ‘The Stonewall Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of so many individuals who’ve made a real difference in this historic year for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality.

‘Sadly, the contrast between those who’ve made a positive difference and those who still simply seek to demean and degrade gay people and their families has never been more stark. That’s why all five of our Bigot of the Year nominees deserve their place on the list.’

The eighth Stonewall Awards will take place on Thursday 7 November 2013 at the V&A. Tickets are priced at £198 (inc VAT) and are available online from www.stonewall.org.uk/awards.

Further shortlists will be released in the coming weeks.

Hero of the Year Shortlist

Dawn Airey

Media mogul Dawn’s long and illustrious career has spanned stints at ITV, Channel 5 and BSkyB. In August she was appointed to run Yahoo in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, making her one of the most successful lesbian global role models in the business world.

Lord Alli

Since becoming the first openly-gay Member of the House of Lords 15 years ago, Lord Alli has been a tireless campaigner for equality. He was instrumental in navigating equal marriage through the House of Lords this year.

Bishop Nicholas Holtam

Bishop Nicholas Holtam has long been one of the Church of England’s most reliable defenders of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, and announced his support for equal marriage in 2012.

Marguerite McLaughlin

This year Marguerite stood down as Chief Executive of sexual health charity Metro after a decade of success. Under her leadership the charity expanded its services and reached out to communities across London.

Russian LGBT Network

This summer has been dominated by headlines of the crackdown on LGB&T activists in Russia. With new gay ‘propaganda’ bans and ever increasing hostility, the Russian LGB&T Network has continued to work to support those in need across Russia.

Bigot of the Year Shortlist

Niall Ferguson

Historian Niall Ferguson made headlines for derisive comments made about the sexuality of John Maynard Keynes.

The Rev George Gebauer

The Rev George Gebauer stunned parents Aimi and Victoria Leggett when he refused to baptise their baby because they both wanted to be named as the child’s mothers. He added insult to injury when he claimed the two mums may have ‘pinched’ the baby and that gay people were ‘imbalanced’.

Scott Lively

Scott Lively is currently facing trail in the United States for ‘crimes against humanity’ following a long career of aggressively exporting homophobia around the world.

Winston McKenzie

Winston McKenzie, UKIP candidate in the Croydon North by-election, hit the headlines in November 2012 when he said that same-sex parenting was akin to child abuse.

Pat Robertson

TV evangelist Pat Robertson has been a longstanding opponent of gay equality but outdid himself in August by saying that gay men viciously spread HIV while shaking hands using ‘special rings’.

Politician of the Year Shortlist

Baroness Barker

Liz Barker made history in June, becoming the first openly-gay LibDem peer, when she came out as lesbian during a deeply personal and moving speech in support of marriage equality.

Lord Elis-Thomas

Lord Elis-Thomas has been a longstanding supporter of equality both in the Welsh Assembly and the House of Lords.

·Nick Herbert MP

‘Powerful’, ‘articulate’, ‘passionate’ and ‘moving’ were just a few of the words used to describe Nick Herbert’s Commons tour de forces in favour of equal marriage during his campaign to secure the legislation.

Jenkin Family (Lord Jenkin, Baroness Jenkin, Bernard Jenkin MP)

A thoroughly modern Tory dynasty with a proud history of conservatism. However, it was the Jenkin family’s honest and wholehearted support of marriage equality in both Houses of Parliament that earned their nomination.

Baroness Stowell

As lead minister, Tina Stowell won plaudits from those on all sides of the House of Lords for her deft handling of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords.

Baroness Thornton

Baroness Thornton’s passionate and articulate support for equal marriage from the Labour frontbench in the House of Lords helped secure this landmark legislative change.

Broadcast of the Year Shortlist

Great British Bake Off, BBC2

The nation is once again hooked by the sweet treats and culinary delights of The Great British Bake Off. Last year’s openly-gay winner John Whaite and the show’s incidental coverage of gay contenders and their families has earned the show a loyal gay fan base.

Hollyoaks, Channel 4

The sensational student and young people’s favourite has blazed a TV trail for gay visibility and this summer contained a landmark storyline about a gay Nigerian asylum seeker.

Iain Dale’s Drive Time, LBC

Witty, current and insightful, Iain Dale has transitioned from must-read blogger and political commentator to essential listening on LBC with his daily drivetime talk show. His success was confirmed when he was named Radio Presenter of the Year at the Arqiva Awards.

Last Tango in Halifax, BBC1

A touching drama that ticked all the boxes, the show’s sensitive subplot followed teacher Caroline, and her new relationship with a woman. The six part series covers the reaction of Caroline’s family, colleagues and pupils to her new partner.

Marrying Mum & Dad, CBBC

Kids favourite Marrying Mum & Dad broke new ground this year with its incidental coverage of same-sex parents. Sensitive and moving, the show followed the civil partnership plans of two proud parents.

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