UK: Stonewall unveils awards shortlist

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Stonewall has announced the shortlists for its seventh annual awards ceremony to be held on 1 November 2012 at the V&A in London.

The charity says the awards celebrate those who have made a “positive impact on the lives of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in Britain in the last year”.

Hip hop star Frank Ocean, who came out earlier this year, and comedian and broadcaster Sue Perkins are nominated for ‘Entertainer of the Year’, while Team GB athletes Claire Harvey, Carl Hester and Lee Pearson make the ‘Sports Awards’ shortlist.

ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent and Alison Steadman’s BBC Four drama, A Civil Arrangement, are among the nominees battling it out for ‘Broadcast of the Year’.

‘Journalist of the Year’ nominees include Hugo Rifkind from the Times, the Independent columnist Owen Jones, Guardian Weekend’s Lucy Mangan and Time Out’s Paul Burston.

Nominees for ‘Politician of the Year’ include Iain Stewart MP, Lynne Featherstone MP and Nicola Sturgeon MSP.

Winners from these categories will be chosen by a celebrity judging panel comprising of broadcaster Alice Arnold, Channel 4 News Culture Editor Matthew Cain, former England rugby star Ben Cohen, author Val McDermid and UK Black Pride Managing Director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah.

Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill said: ‘This year’s Stonewall Award nominees include Olympic and Paralympic heroes, regional, national and industry publications, popular TV shows and popular lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight entertainers.

“The diversity of those nominated for an award demonstrates how gay equality is firmly embedded in 21st-century British life. That’s a real cause for celebration.”

Earlier this week, Alan Craig, the leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance Party and a former councillor for the London Borough of Newham, and Lord Ken Maginnis, the former Ulster Unionist MP, who previously referred to same-sex marriage as “unnatural and deviant behaviour” both criticised the charity after they were nominated for the title of ‘Bigot of the Year’.