Out of all the toxic and downright bizarre statements made against LGBTI people in the past year, Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine’s ranting was judged the most worthy of a Golden GLORIA award.
Held in a reception room at NSW Parliament on Wednesday night, the annual GLORIAs presided over 80 cringe-worthy nominations from around the world, with hundreds of votes cast online to decide the worst of the worst.
GLORIAs organiser NSW Labor MLC Penny Sharpe says it had unfortunately been a big year for statements against our communities, all around the globe. “The marriage equality debate in the Federal Parliament gave us lots of fodder, but North Carolina also had a strong showing,” she explains.
But it was a local fear-monger who reigned supreme. Writing in the Telegraph late last year, Miranda Devine reacted to the news of Finance Minister Penny Wong’s same-sex partner having a baby with a peculiar article linking gay marriage and same-sex parents to the London riots.
“As a Catholic, I believe the push for same-sex marriage is not about enhancing the lives of gay couples,” she opined. “In countries where it has been legalised, there has been no rush to the altar. The issue is largely symbolic. It is simply a political tool to undermine the last bastion of bourgeois morality – the traditional nuclear family. You only had to see the burning streets of London last week to see the manifestation of a fatherless society.”
Sharpe says the GLORIAs will return next year, again shining a comical light on the most outrageous, ignorant and ridiculous comments about LGBTI people in a variety of categories.
The 2012 GLORIAs winners in each category were…
Politics / Law:
Philip Pocock, ACT Election Candidate:
“I believe sodomy of man or woman should be regarded as a criminal offence and while people do not have the right to go ‘poofter bashing’, to use colloquial language, they should have the right to discriminate in terms of employment, accommodation etc as they do in dealing with drug addicts etc”.
Worst international comment:
Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina who told his congregation that they should build a large fence,150 or 100 miles long, put all the gays and lesbians inside it, “and have that fence electrified ‘til they can’t get out. Feed ‘em. And you know what, in a few years, they’ll die out. Do you know why? They can’t reproduce.”
Pastor Peter Walker addressing the National Marriage Day rally outside Parliament House in Canberra – “I’m convinced that homosexuals (re)produces themselves by molesting children.”
Tennis legend Margaret Court: “I believe that a person’s sexuality is a choice. In the Bible it said that homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh. It is not something you are born with. My concern is that we are advocating to young people that it is OK to have these feelings.
“But I truly believe if you are told you are gay from a young age, soon enough it will start to impact your life and you will live it. If somebody is told they are gay they often start to believe it.”
Silliest comment from within the GLTBI community:
Openly gay Liberal Senator Dean Smith voted against marriage equality saying: “I reject the suggestion of marriage equality.
“Marriage equality has been a slogan; it has been a campaign. The claim to equality ignores the widely accepted fact that marriage is an institution that has a long and well-accepted definition—a definition that is heavily laden with cultural meaning and values crafted by custom and by law over the years. It is an institution that has a common and well-understood meaning in Australia.
“I dispute the commentary in this place and others suggesting that the majority of Australians are ready to extend the meaning of marriage to same-sex relationships. I also dispute the view that the inability to utilise the Marriage Act restricts in any fundamental manner the quality of life experiences of gay and lesbian Australians.”
Top photo: David Marr holding the Golden GLORIA, with Penny Sharpe MLC. Photography by Trish Marinozzi.