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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 2, 2014 - Volume 43 Issue 01
Queen honors five LGBT activists and one homophobe
Section One
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Queen honors five LGBT activists and one homophobe

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Queen Elizabeth II has honored five LGBT activists in her annual New Year Honors list, but the list also includes a notoriously homophobic Northern Ireland politician.

The Honors list comes out every year, and usually includes both cultural and political figures. It is based on recommendations from the Prime Minister.

One of those honored with an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) was Jenny Broughton, founder of Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG), the British equivalent of America's PFLAG. Broughton, now 80, founded the organization after her daughter came out at the age of 17.

Another MBE was awarded to LGBT rights activist Nigel George Warner for his work as the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association's (ILGA) Council of Europe advisor.

Dr. Jay Stewart, co-founder of Gendered Intelligence received an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a more distinguished honor than MBE), for his service to Britain's Transgender community.

Activist Jenny-Anne Christine Bishop was also honored with an OBE for services to the Trans community.

Finally, the Queen knighted Lesbian Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, entitling her to the title 'Dame.'

On the other hand, the Queen also honored Northern Ireland Council member Maurice Mills with an MBE. Mills is a member of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), one of the Protestant-based parties supporting Northern Ireland's continued union with Britain.

Mills is notorious for saying that AIDS was caused by the 'filthy practice of sodomy' in Africa and for claiming that Hurricane Katrina was God's revenge for a Gay festival in New Orleans.

'The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people,' Mills said at the time.

'Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practiced.'

The Northern Ireland LGBT rights organization Rainbow Project demanded that the DUP reject Mills' comments but the party declined to do so. Mills has never retracted his remarks.

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