Five candidates for ‘Briton of the Year’ who are not Nigel Farage
On the announcement that UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been named ‘Briton of the Year’ by the Times Newspaper, here are just a few people who probably deserve the honour a bit more.
The accolade was given to Farage by the newspaper for his “game-changing” politics, stating that he “crushed” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in TV debates.
The move by the Times has been widely condemned. Below are a few suggestions for people who are not Nigel Farage.
1. The Bishop of Buckingham The Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson.
Dr Wilson routinely speaks out against the Church of England’s treatment of gay people. This year he wrote a book about the subject, and often speaks out.
At the PinkNews Awards on 29 October, Dr Wilson said he was “ashamed” at the CofE’s treatment of gay people throughout the years.
He made a promise “that the faith communities of this country will be very much more part of the solution than the problem.”
Delivering a Christmas sermon to the LGBT community earlier this week, he congratulated all gay couples who have married or converted their civil partnerships to marriage in Britain so far.
2. Michael Fabricant MP
Mr Fabricant, despite being no stranger to controversy, is fighting an impassioned battle to have the blood donation rules for men who have sex with men equalised.
Last month, the Lichfield MP introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons, urging for the law to be changed.
He said: “How can it be logical that a straight promiscuous man who might have a two different partners each night of the year can donate blood while a gay man in a monogamous loving relationship cannot – unless he has certified that he has been totally celibate for the past year?”
3. Jonny Benjamin of #FindMike
Benjamin started the FindMike campaign, which aims to raise awareness of suicide and provide a message of hope to anyone who may be struggling.
After a viral campaign, he was eventually reunited with the man who saved his life, Neil, back in January. Neil had stopped him from jumping to his death from Waterloo Bridge in London some years earlier.
Then 20, Benjamin said at the time he had hit “rock bottom” after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and sought to end his life.
He announced that he planned to return to hospital just before Christmas 2014, as he had been contemplating suicide.
4. Emily Brothers
In a rare move, Brothers, a British Parliamentary Candidate came out as transgender, in an interview with PinkNews.
Labour’s Emily Brothers, who is standing for Parliament in Sutton and Cheam, opened up about being transgender.
Ms Brothers – who lost her sight to glaucoma as a child – was a key figure in securing Disability Living Allowance for blind people, and has opened up about her gender transition for the first time.
5. Any of the politicians responsible for legislating for same-sex marriage
As same-sex marriage was introduced this year, and couples first began to marry on 29 March, it is worth recognising the cross-party efforts to passing same-sex marriage.
Any or all of the MPs and peers responsible for guiding the bills through parliament to allow gay and lesbian couples marry in England, Wales and Scotland have arguably made a life-changing difference to the lives of thousands of people.
It is worth noting that Farage said earlier this year that he thought the debate which led to same-sex marriage becoming legal in England and Wales was “not particularly needed”.
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and need to talk to someone, visit samaritans.org or call 08457 90 90 90.
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