The annual GLORIA awards – for the worst homophobic, biphobic, transphobic and intersexphobic comments of the past year – were held last night at NSW Parliament House.
Organised by NSW Labor MLC Penny Sharpe, they are an opportunity to reflect on all the stupid things that are said about us as a community – and making fun of the stupid people who say them.
So, here they are, the nominees, and winners, of the GLORIA awards 2016, including the winner of the 2016 Golden GLORIA (taking the mantle from last year’s worthy title-holder Germaine Greer):
- The Indonesian Government who told WHATSAPP to remove gay emojis.
- Uzbekistani President, Islam Karimov who said: “When men live with men and women live with women, I think there must be something wrong up here [points at head]. Something is broken here. There is a saying: When God wants to reveal someone’s vulgarity, he first takes his reason away.” (Pink News, 9 February 2016)
- ISIS for their continued persecution of gay men (see for example Pink News 18 January 2016)
- Qatar for banning film screenings of The Danish Girl on the grounds of moral depravity (Pink News, 13/01/2016)
- Irish Councillor Paddy Kilduff who said at a council meeting: “Personally I won’t be voting for it and the reason I am not voting for it – no problem with gays and lesbians – but the problem I have is with the children… when you have two women having babies and artificially inseminated… It’s gross, it’s gross. So I won’t be supporting it anyway, so you can take that back to Dublin.”
- Prime minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama who slammed same-sex marriage as “rubbish” and advised same-sex couples to move to Iceland and stay there if they want marriage equality. (SBS Online, 7 January 2016)
- Marco Rubio who says that gay adoption is a “social experiment,” and children better off orphaned. (SLATE, 16 December 2015)
Who I wanted to win: It’s hard to go past ISIS
Who actually won: Marco Rubio
- Miranda Devine for her column “Same sex marriage: Totalitarian tolerance”.
- Angela Shanahan writing in the Australian, 27 February 2016: “Both sides of this argument are shying away from the truth. Bullying is not the issue here. It is the LGBTI education agenda that seeks to normalise behaviour that most parents do not consider normal.”
- 2CH’s evening host Kel Richards who said on radio: “You really are doing something really dangerous and really terrible to those children.” According to him, the Safe Schools program is “an attempt to sexualise and recruit children for the gay and lesbian movement.” He sums it up as “disgusting gay and lesbian propaganda.” (Same Same).
- Piers Ackerman for this column in the Daily Tele: “McGregor may identify as a woman and may even, with the blessing of the politically correct military establishment, use women’s lavatories, but until the chromosomes undergo some miraculous alchemic transformation, McGregor ¬remains by all biological and scientific rules, a bloke…”
- Rowan Dean, for his column in the Courier Mail “Bullying in the name of dogma”
Who I wanted to win: Angela Shanahan (for implying that any child who is not cisgender and heterosexual is not normal)
Who actually won: Kel Richards
- George Christensen, who told Parliament on 25 February 2016: “If someone proposed exposing a child to this material, the parents would probably call the police, because it would sound a lot like grooming work a sexual predator might undertake.”
- NATIONALS MP Andrew Broad, who represents the Victorian electorate of Mallee, who said to regional newspaper Sunraysia Daily: “Do I support calling a relationship between a man and a man, and a woman and a woman marriage? … I can put the rams in the paddock and they might mount one another but no lambs will come out.”
- Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott who addressed anti-gay lobby group Alliance Defending Freedom in New York saying that same-sex marriage is still “a huge ask” that would see “the erosion of family”. (Attitude, 29 January 2016)
- Cory Bernardi who emailed a constituent to say: “You clearly haven’t got any idea what is in the program. If you did then you would be worried about your children being exposed to unhealthy ideas from such an early age.” The email then went on to say Safe Schools links to websites about “bondage clubs and adult sex toys”.
- Former ALP Minister, Gary Johns, writing in Australian: “Private homosexual acts are not an offence by law in any state jurisdiction. Rest assured, there is no discrimination in law against gay people. Gay people are free to pursue their lives, especially happiness with a life partner.” (22 March 2016)
- Reclaim Australia protesters who confronted Perth’s Save Safe Schools insisting they weren’t anti-gay, but needed to protect children from Safe Schools’ “Marxist ideology.” They later shouted “paedo scum, off our streets!” (Same Same)
- Former ALP Senator Joe Bullock who quit the Senate stating: “How can I in good conscience recommend to the people that they vote for a party which is determined to deny its parliamentarians a conscience vote on the homosexual marriage question?”
- Malcolm Turnbull for effectively saying nothing to help defend the LGBTI community from attacks on Safe Schools, and for refusing to overturn the unnecessary, inappropriate, wasteful & divisive plebiscite on marriage equality.
Who I wanted to win: Either George Christensen for comparing Safe Schools to grooming by paedophiles, or Malcolm Turnbull for failing to condemn the attacks on Safe Schools by Christensen, Cory Bernardi and others
Who actually won: Malcolm Turnbull
- Lyle Shelton, managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, speaking on Q&A on February 29, 2016. “Studies that have been done of transgendered people who have had sex reassignment surgery, people who have been followed for 20 or so years have found that after 10 years from the surgery, that their suicide mortality rate was actually 20 times higher than the non-transgendered population. So I’m very concerned that here we are encouraging young people to do things to their bodies … like chest binding for young girls … [and] penis tucking”
- Lyle Shelton (again) who was asked on Sky News how allowing same-sex marriage would affect his own marriage. His answer: “If the definition of marriage is changed, it’s no longer assumed … that I’m married to a woman. So that affects me straight away.”
- Christian Activist Theodore Shoebat who claimed that the “SWAT team or the National Guard” should be used to take away children raised by “dykes and faggots” because they’re “in danger of being raped”. He continued: “Dykes are criminals! Two dykes that are supposedly married, that’s not marriage, that’s a criminal partnership. That’s an agreement between two criminals.” (Pink News, 16 January 2016)
- The Marriage Alliance for the infamous rainbow noose image tweet
- Colorado evangelical pastor turned random headline generator Kevin Swanson who wants girl scouts put to death for being too pro LGTB (Pink News, 14 March 2016)
- Lyle Shelton managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, for a third time, for his claims same-sex marriage would lead to a new “stolen generation”. (The Guardian, 1 March 2016).
- Greek Orthodox Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta who said of gay couples: “Spit on them! Deprecate them! Vote against them!” (Pink News, 14 December 2015)
- The Australian Christian Lobby for wanting the “two dads” episode of Play School cancelled.
Who I wanted to win: While it is clear Lyle Shelton desperately wants the title of Australia’s biggest homophobe, it has to be the Marriage Alliance for suggesting legalising marriage equality will lead to people killing themselves as a result of ‘PC bullying’. Seriously, how unhinged can you get?
Who actually won: Lyle Shelton – for his comment that if marriage equality was introduced, people might no longer assume he’s married to a woman.
- Jeremy Clarkson who attacked the trans community in his column for The Sunday Times – claiming the issues facing transgender people have been over exaggerated. “They were called lady boys, and in my mind they were nothing more than the punchline in a stag night anecdote.”(Pink News, 24 January 2016).
- Footballer Serge Aurier who was been suspended for making alleged homophobic comments during a Periscope broadcast to fans. In the live video chat, Aurier claimed that coach Laurent Blanc and teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic had engaged in oral sex – referring to Blanc as “une fiotte” (faggot). (PINK NEWS, 15/02/2016)
- World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has sparked criticism in the Philippines after describing gay couples as “worse than animals”. “It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?” Pacquiao told local broadcaster TV5.
Who I wanted to win: Manny Pacquiao (at least in part because this week he has been elected to the Philippines Parliament)
Who actually won: Manny Pacquiao
And the overall award, voted on by crowd participation (aka who got the loudest boos in the room on the night), the winner of the 2016 Golden GLORIA was:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (emerging victorious after a three-way boo-off against Marco Rubio and Lyle Shelton).
One final note on the winner: Some people might think it unfair that he won the politics category, let alone the Golden Gloria, especially because he didn’t actually say anything. But then that is kind of the point – when the right-wing campaign against Safe Schools was in full swing, and people like George Christensen and Cory Bernardi were intent on making Australia a less safe space for young LGBTI people, he said nothing, therefore encouraging their attacks to continue.
And, even though he knows that the plebiscite is unnecessary, inappropriate, wasteful and divisive, and as Prime Minister he should be able to do something about it, he is still pursuing Tony Abbott’s public vote as his own policy – not because it is the right thing for the country, but because it appears to be the right thing for his career. Both things make him a worthy, albeit somewhat controversial, ‘winner’.
See you all next year when, if we do have a marriage equality plebiscite, there will be absolutely no shortage of nominations (and where Lyle Shelton might finally get to take home the coveted crown).