Lorraine Kelly and Nicola Sturgeon to attend Scotland’s first LGBTI Awards

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and TV star Lorraine Kelly, will be among hundreds of guests to attend Scotland’s first ever LGBT awards ceremony.

Around 400 guests will gather on Thursday, including a number of politicians, journalists and community groups, at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.

The awards aim to celebrate people and groups who have made an impact or contribution to LGBT life in Scotland.

The event is organised by the Equality Network, and PinkNews is an exclusive media partner.

It will feature performances by Horse McDonald and Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus.

Scott Cuthbertson, Development Coordinator for the Equality Network, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the Equality Network’s inaugural Scottish LGBTI Awards. The past year has been an amazing year for LGBTI equality with the first same-sex marriages happening across Scotland after many years of campaigning. Progress on LGBTI equality and human rights would not be possible without the hard work and support of many people, groups and organisations from all over Scotland, it’s those people we are celebrating at these awards. Our nominees represent the best advocates for equality and human rights in Scotland.”

He continued: “Today we are delighted to announce the winners of our two special awards in advance of the awards gala later this week. Our ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ has been awarded to Derek Ogg QC for his numerous accomplishments in the field of LGBTI equality over many years, and in particular his work on the decriminalisation of sex between men in Scotland, which took place thirty-five years ago this year. The second special award, Equality Network ‘Friend for Life’ has been awarded to Anne and Joe Patrizio, from Parents Enquiry Scotland, for their long-standing work supporting parents of LGBT people. We would like to congratulate all the winners and look forward to announcing the winners of the other categories on at our gala event on Thursday 10th September.”

Derek Ogg QC from Glasgow has been awarded the Equality Network Lifetime Achievement Award. The timing is particularly fitting, as this year is the 35th anniversary of the decriminalisation of sex between men in Scotland, which is one of Ogg’s main achievements.

As a lawyer, Ogg was very much involved in SMG’s legal campaigning, including against employment discrimination, and to decriminalise sex between men, which in the 1970s remained a crime in Scotland. On 22nd July 1980, the House of Commons passed a decriminalisation amendment from Robin Cook MP, and decriminalisation (although with significant restrictions) came into effect on 1st February 1981.

Derek Ogg QC said: “I am delighted to have been selected for this Award and look forward to celebrating the other recipients’ awards too. The Equality Network is now an important national resource and helps our whole community to feel at ease with itself. We will all have a great night, then roll up our sleeves next day and continue the life enhancing campaigns still urgently needed.”

A full list of the nominees of the first Equality Network Scottish LGBTI Awards 2015 can be viewed here.