Updated: Friday, 7th August 2020 @ 1:30pm

'Humiliated' Bigot of the Year nominee challenges Nationwide's support for gay awards in Manchester

'Humiliated' Bigot of the Year nominee challenges Nationwide's support for gay awards in Manchester

By Dean Wilkins

A nominated ‘Bigot of the Year’ is challenging being named in a shortlist for the person who has ‘gone out of their way to harm’ homosexuals, at a Manchester conference today.

Stephen Green was chosen by Swindon-based charity Stonewall – who formed in 1989 to battle abuse directed at homosexuality – as someone who openly harms or snubs lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people.

The ceremony is supported by Nationwide Building Society, who are holding their Annual General Meeting event in Manchester today.

And Mr Green, who runs the Christian Voice website, said he intends to challenge Nationwide for sponsoring an event which openly ‘ridicules’ anti-homosexuality groups.

He told MM: “I intend to go down to the event and pose a number of questions to Nationwide – including asking how much they paid to support the event, why they used members’ money to do so and why they have done it when they shouldn’t have.

“This event is shameless and I feel humiliated by the nomination and they have no right to openly challenge people who are against homosexuality – it is targeting people who make factually correct comments about homosexuality.”

Mr Green was a contender to clinch the ‘Bigot of the Year’ award in 2011 after his rampage on the ‘not normal’ lives of homosexuals and insisting those who support gay rights are ‘hateful’.

When asked why he is challenging a charity and its sponsor for equality campaigns and preventing brutal physical attacks, Mr Green said: “Because I can, it is my right.”

Mr Green was nominated for the same award last year but lost out to journalist Melanie Phillips.

After losing, he wrote on his website: “It was a great honour to be shortlisted for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award and I am disappointed not to have won. 

“I really must put more effort into opposing the gay rights lobby before next year’s event. 

“All the same, I congratulate Melanie Phillips for her winning position of standing up for the right of children not to be abused by Stonewall-devised homosexual imagery in sex education.”

Stonewall’s website states that Mr Green was nominated after ‘shocking’ BBC viewers in December.

It states: “He launched a homophobic tirade against new parents David Furnish and Elton John. The BBC was harshly criticised for asking Stephen Green to comment given his previous support for the death penalty for gay people.”

The Stonewall Awards acknowledge those who are driven to have a positive impact on the lives of British gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

The ceremony has been hosted been Gok Wan, Sue Perkins and Stephen K Amos in recent years and this year’s event will take place in November.

Nationwide’s meeting in Manchester encourages its 15million members to help shape the company and strongly backs the charity’s endeavour to support the lives of many.

Alan Oliver, Nationwide's Head of External Affairs, said: "Stonewall’s ‘Diversity Champion’ programme promotes diversity and equality in the workplace and Nationwide is an active member of this programme.

"As part of our pledge to support diversity in the workplace, Nationwide took the decision to sponsor Stonewall’s Sixth Annual Awards in 2011.

"This was a one-off sponsorship, and Nationwide did not have influence over the award categories, the winners, or the nominees."

Robin Bailey, Diversity and Equality of Opportunities Committee Chair at Nationwide, said: “Stonewall does excellent work promoting inclusivity and equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff, and Nationwide is delighted to support an awards ceremony that celebrates people who have made such a positive impact promoting that cause.”

Past winners include Gareth Thomas, Martina Navratilova and Coronation Street, but nominee Mr Green is most disappointed not to have been invited down to collect his award.

“Like all bullies. They are cowards. They have not invited me down so I can face them and challenge them on the award.”

 “Nationwide are not man enough to apologise to those they have offended by supporting the awards,” he added.

While writing a tirade against the ceremony, Mr Green said they have not invited someone down to the event in fear that that the winner might ‘tell the assembled gays a few home truths’.

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