Developing

Tory leader booed off-stage at gay awards

By Ian Dunt

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives was booed off the stage at the Stonewall Awards last night, after she criticised the organisation for creating a 'bigot' category.

The Stonewall Awards seeks to celebrate outstanding contributions of individuals and groups towards lesbian, gay and bisexual equality.

Tory Ruth Davidson was collecting the award for politician of the year after she became Britain's first openly gay leader of a mainstream political party.

"I think it's important for young people growing up to see that it doesn't matter your politics, gender or sexuality, there should be no barrier to success," she said.

"Where I disagree with Stonewall is the need to call people names like 'bigot'

"It is simply wrong. The case for equality is far better made by demonstrating the sort of generosity, tolerance and love we would wish to see more of in this world."

She added: "There are many voices in this debate and just as I respectfully express my sincerely held belief that we should extend marriage to same-sex couples, I will also respect those who hold a different view."

At that point Davidson's small group of cheering supporters were unable to drown out the chorus of boos.

The bigot award went to Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, whose anti-gay marriage rants have been met with outrage by campaigners.

Earlier this week two of Stonewall's corporate supporters also threatened to end their support for the event in protest at the category.

"When there are people calling us beastialitists or equate being gay with slavery I think we are personally entitled to call them bigots," gay Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told pinknews.co.uk.

Nick Clegg found himself under attack in September when he branded opponents of gay marriage "bigots", although he later changed the speech and insisted it was "not the kind of word" he would use