Nine bigots who will be getting coal for Christmas

PinkNews counts down nine of the most offensive, hateful or ridiculous people we’ve covered this year.

Tyson Fury

Heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury was nominated for the BBC ‘Personality’ of the Year award – despite claiming that homosexuality and paedophilia will bring about the apocalypse.

The boxer has simultaneously stood by his comments and denied being homophobic – while also claiming that sex with children was legalised by a fictional ‘Gay Rights Act 1977‘.

As well as calling those who have signed the petition “50,000 wankers”, Fury took to Twitter – to claim he doesn’t want the award anyway.

Ted Cruz

US Senator Ted Cruz is currently polling second in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, and is currently ahead of Trump in the key state of Iowa in some polls.

Last month, Cruz appeared at a rally organised by ‘Death to Gays’ preacher Kevin Swanson, who shouted at the event: “Yes, Leviticus calls for the death penalty for homosexuals! Yes, the Apostle Paul does say that homosexuals are worthy of death!

“His words, not mine, and [screaming] I AM NOT ASHAMED! I am not ashamed of the truth of the word of God!”

Cruz has repeatedly ducked calls to condemn Swanson for his comments.

The candidate has also blamed gay soldiers for low military morale, claimed that trans children are a threat to his daughters, and repeatedly pledged to void all same-sex weddings.

The Senator is still polling high – even after he falsely claimed that a shooter who attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was a “transgendered leftist activist”.

In case you needed any more reason to dislike him, the Presidential candidate branded actress Ellen Page a “liberal fascist” after she asked him why he opposes LGBT rights.

Vitaly Milonov

The architect of Russia’s anti-gay law, Milonov has enjoyed strong support from forces that have propelled him from a extremist fringe figure to a mainstay of Russian politics.

Milonov is known for raiding gay venues – and has compared gay sex to bestiality.

This year he went global – announcing plans to establish an international anti-LGBT organisation to “save the international community from gays”.

Milonov has taken particular offront at Russia’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, labelling it the “Eurovision sodom show”, saying: “Even just broadcasting the competition in Russia could insult millions of Russians.

Dr Ben Carson

Until recent political gaffes ate into his poll numbers, former Fox News pundit and neurosurgeon was Donald Trump’s main competition in the polls nationally.

The pundit is notorious for extreme comments – though they tend not to attract the media attention of Trump’s.

The candidate last year insisted that same-sex marriage is a Marxist plot from the New World Order, claiming in a speech to a listed anti-gay group that gay weddings are part of a plan “to destroy unity [and] bring America down.”

Carson has repeatedly been forced to apologise when caught making overtly homophobic comments – apologising after he was caught comparing gay people to paedophiles, and again apologising after he was caught claiming that prisons ‘prove’ being gay is a choice.

His repeated humiliations have not dissuaded him, however – just last month he compared gay couples to conjoined twins.

Carson also recently suggested that the military re-introduce a form of controversial policy ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ to ban LGBT soldiers, claiming: “Why do you have to go around flaunting your sexuality? It’s not necessary, you don’t need to talk about that, we need to talk about how to eliminate the enemy.”

He hasn’t apologised for that one yet.

David Coburn

In a year where many political leaders from all sides were loosed by their parties, UKIP’s Scottish leader David Coburn has defied all odds to cling on to his job.

The UK Independence Party MEP is no stranger to making controversial comments – facing calls to resign earlier this year after comparing SNP minister Humza Yousaf to convicted terrorist Abu Hamza.

He also previously compared then-SNP leader Alex Salmond to dictator Robert Mugabe.

Despite being gay, the UKIP MEP is a fierce critic of the gay rights movement, regularly claiming that same-sex marriage supporters are “equality Nazis” – and that the Lib Dems and Labour want to ban him from having sex.

Mike Huckabee

Former Governor of Arkansas and Fox News pundit Mike Huckabee is still in the running, and is attracting some attention as a potential ‘anti-Trump’ candidate.

Like Cruz, Huckabee continues to duck calls to condemn ‘Death to Gays’ preacher Kevin Swanson after appearing with him at a rally.

In case you need a recap, Swanson shouted at that event: “Yes, Leviticus calls for the death penalty for homosexuals (…) I AM NOT ASHAMED!”

Challenged to condemn the comments, Huckabee’s rep instead said the candidate “appreciated the opportunity to speak with an audience in Iowa about the importance of standing up for our religious liberties”.

Huckabee also rallied alongside anti-gay Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, appearing alongside her lawyer Mat Staver – the head of a listed anti-gay hate group who has repeatedly compared her treatment to Jews in the Holocaust.

Despite claiming to work ‘closely’ with the clerk’s legal team to get her freed from jail, Huckabee declined to condemn any of Staver’s comments – even when Staver compared equal marriage to ‘sodomising’ children.

Huckabee, who previously ‘joked’ he wishes he were transgender to spy on teenage girls in the showers, has claimed that Obama was ‘appeasing homosexuals’ by appointing a gay army chief, insisted President Obama is not a Christian because he invited a gay bishop to meet the Pope.

Robert Mugabe

The Zimbabwean President has rallied against the influence of the West… while allowing extremist Western pastors like Scott Lively to dictate his’ country’s approach to LGBT equality.

Though Mugabe is not the only world leader to oppose gay equality, he is one of the most outspoken, taking his homophobia to the UN in biazarre fashion earlier this year.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, he shouted: “We are not gays!” in the middle of an anti-LGBT diatribe.

Homosexuality is not against the law in the country, but LGBT people often face harsh government clampdowns – with Mugabe claiming homosexuality is a filthy disease, and claiming Zimbabwe would “never, never, never” support homosexuality.

He has also claimed he “pities” the Queen because of Britain’s “gay habits”.

Rick Santorum

We had to double-check, but yep, apparently Rick Santorum is still officially running for President.

He seems to have adopted a strange ‘under the radar’ approach to his campaign – but some of his extremist views should not be allowed to go by unnoticed.

Santorum has repeatedly claimed that homosexuality is a condition that can be cured – and opposes any attempt to challenge such gay ‘cure’ therapy.

The Republican has also claimed that same-sex couples getting married in the US will “disrupt the foundation of the world”, and has pledged to void the marriages of thousands of loving gay couples if elected President.

Ironically, Santorum insists that he “doesn’t spend a lot of time” thinking about homosexuality – when he seems to talk about nothing else.

Rick Santorum probably wasn’t thinking about homosexuality on July 13, when he said he wants to ban same-sex marriage everywhere – even when states have chosen to allow it.

Rick Santorum probably wasn’t thinking about homosexuality on July 5, when he claimed that letting gays marry will cause a “global crisis”.

Rick Santorum probably wasn’t thinking about homosexuality on June 29, when he claimed the next President needs to protect Christians from the gay lobby.

Rick Santorum probably wasn’t thinking about homosexuality on June 22, when he signed a pledge that describes same-sex parents as “unconscionable and destructive” and a “threat to security”.

Kim Davis

Of course no list of notorious homophobes would be complete without the Kentucky clerk, who has ascended to the lofty heights of 55th out of 60 on the TIME Person of the Year poll.

Davis, the clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, was briefly jailed earlier this year after she defied court orders to stop blocking same-sex marriage.

The clerk has since become the darling of the far-right ‘religious freedom’ movement.

She is represented by outspoken Christian lawyer Mat Staver – whose group the Liberty Counsel is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Staver was previously condemned by the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for comments comparing Davis to Jews in the gas chambers.