Coronation Street’s Antony Cotton was among the big winners at last night’s Stonewall Awards, held at the V&A and supported by Gender Gap.
The soap favourite was commended for his decade of walking the nation’s favourite cobbled street as a proud gay role model. He was joined by Mamas & Papas, CBBC’s Marrying Mum and Dad and the Cardiff Lions who also took home awards for their support of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain.
Nearly 500 people, including celebrities, sports stars, politicians and writers, joined host Susan Calman at the ceremony to honour those who’ve made a positive contribution to the lives of Britain’s 3.7 million gay people.
Thousands of Stonewall supporters voted to name Lord Alli and the Russian LGBT Network as joint Hero of the Year, supported by Gender Gap. Lord Alli has been a tireless advocate for equality since he became the first openly gay member of the House of Lords 15 years ago. He was instrumental in successfully navigating equal marriage through the House of Lords this year.
The Russian LGBT Network was recognised for its courageous work to support gay people in Russia despite gay ‘propaganda’ bans and ever increasing hostility. In a statement the Russian LGBT Network said that Britain’s ‘journey from Section 28 to marriage equality inspires us as we campaign against those who seek to deny us our fundamental human rights’.
The Quaker LGBT Fellowship was named Community Group of the Year by Stonewall supporters for their long-standing commitment to equality. The group was presented with a cheque for £5,000 – kindly provided by The Inclusive Foundation and supported by Square Peg Media – to continue their work to promote equality and religious freedom.
Stonewall supporters overwhelmingly voted US TV evangelist Pat Robertson as 2013’s Bigot of the Year – the award reserved for an individual who has gratuitously caused hurt and offence to gay people around the world. Robertson – a long standing and vocal opponent of equality – hit headlines in August by saying that gay men viciously spread HIV when shaking hands by using ‘special rings’.
Metro was named Publication of the Year for its frequent and incidental coverage of gay issues throughout the newspaper as well as its support for tackling homophobia in football.
CBBC’s Marrying Mum and Dad became the first children’s show to be named Broadcast of the Year in recognition of the shows sensitive and moving portrayal of children planning the civil partnership of their proud parents.
In a landmark year for equality Baroness Stowell was named as Stonewall’s Politician of the Year for her unstinting work to secure marriage for same-sex couples. The Conservative Peer was applauded for her deft handling of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in the House of Lords.
Scottish writer Damian Barr took home the prize for Writer of the Year for his biography Maggie and Me which was praised for its honest and compelling narrative of growing up gay.
Wales’ only gay-friendly rugby club, the Cardiff Lions, beat tough competition to take home the Stonewall Sports Award of the Year, supported by Paddy Power, in recognition of their grassroots work supporting gay people in sport and defying stereotypes.
The Independent’s Grace Dent was named Journalist of the Year for her unflinching support of equal marriage in the mainstream media. The columnist, author, TV critic and restaurant reviewer was applauded for her humorous and honest coverage of gay issues throughout the year.
Yummy Mummy and Dreamy Daddy favourite Mamas & Papas scooped the first ever Stonewall Award for Advert of the Year for its campaign featuring same-sex parents. The brand proudly declared ‘This is how we roll’ with its commitment to support different families.
Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘In a landmark year for equality the Stonewall Award winners really do exemplify the very best of British. Each and every one of our winners has made the world a better place for gay people and will continue to inspire millions of people through their work’.
Sam Jones, CEO of Stonewall Award 2013 supporters Gender Gap, said: ‘We’re incredibly proud to support the Stonewall Awards. The individuals and organisations recognised this evening have campaigned tirelessly to make the world a better place. That’s a vision and a mission we share at Gender Gap.’
Hero of the Year (supported by Gender Gap) – Lord Alli and the Russian LGBT Network
Broadcast of the Year – CBBC’s Marrying Mum and Dad
Entertainer of the Year – Antony Cotton (Coronation Street)
Journalist of the Year – Grace Dent (The Independent)
Politician of the Year – Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Publication of the Year – Metro
Sports Award of the Year (supported by Paddy Power) – Cardiff Lions
Writer of the Year – Damian Barr (Maggie and Me)
Community Group of the Year (supported by Square Peg Media and the Inclusive Foundation) – Quaker Lesbian & Gay Fellowship
Advert of the Year – Mamas & Papas
Bigot of the Year – Pat Robertson