The lesbian leader of the Scottish Tories, Ruth Davidson, got booed at a Stonewall event after she told the group to drop its annual ‘bigot award’.
Stonewall is Britain’s top gay campaign group, and it runs an awards ceremony which includes a ‘Bigot of the Year’ prize to smear opponents.
This year it was given to Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic, who has spoken out against Government plans to redefine marriage.
But Ruth Davidson, who gave a speech at the awards ceremony, was booed by the audience when she urged Stonewall to end the campaign of intimidation.
The leader of the Scottish Conservative Party said she is supportive of Stonewall’s Role Models leadership programme.
“But,” she said, “where I disagree with Stonewall in these awards is the need to call people names like ‘bigot’. It is simply wrong.”
She added “just as I respectfully express my sincerely held belief that we should extend marriage to same-sex couples, I will also respect those who hold a different view.”
Two leading banks – Barclays and Coutts –have threatened to end their sponsorship of the event unless the bigot prize is dropped.
But Stonewall has defended its aggressive approach, saying it serves to highlight intolerance against homosexual people.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg landed in hot water after a draft speech released by his office called opponents of gay marriage ‘bigots’.
A retraction was swiftly issued, but it could not stop the media storm which followed the intemperate remark.