AUSTRALIA’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has taken out the top gong at the annual GLORIA awards for his lack of action on Safe Schools and marriage equality.

The GLORIAs (Gay and Lesbian Outrageous, Ridiculous and Ignorant Comment Awards) are an annual events hosted by NSW Labor MP Penny Sharpe.

A packed room watched comedian Kirsty Webeck, who flew up from Melbourne to host the awards, steal the show as she announced the winners and nominees.

People were invited to nominate who they thought were worthy candidates for the best/worst homophobic and transphobic comments in various categories including; media, politics and religion.

More than 300 people voted only for their favourites with the winners announced at the awards event held at NSW Parliament, which was attended by 150 people.

Turnbull won the politics section and took out the 2016 Golden GLORIA – the top award of the night – for “effectively saying nothing to help defend the LGBTI community from attacks on Safe Schools, and for refusing to overturn the unnecessary, inappropriate, wasteful & divisive plebiscite on marriage equality”.

Other winners on the night included, former Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio who won the International category for saying gay adoption is a “social experiment”, and children would be better off orphaned.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao won in the Sport category for outraging his fellow Filipinos by describing gay couples as “worse than animals”.

“It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex?”

The media category was won by 2CH’s evening host Kel Richards who said on radio: “You really are doing something really dangerous and really terrible to those children.” According to him, the Safe Schools program is “an attempt to sexualise and recruit children for the gay and lesbian movement.” He summed it up as “disgusting gay and lesbian propaganda.”

Star Observer’s number one fan, Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) managing director, Lyle Shelton was nominated three times in the Religion category and won for explaining how marriage equality would impact on his life: “If the definition of marriage is changed, it’s no longer assumed … that I’m married to a woman. So that affects me straight away.”

George Braybon and Patrick Jones attended their first GLORIAs last night and said the event was a good reminder that homophobia and transphobia still exists.

“You forget what politicians and other people said and hearing it back you think, ‘how stupid are these people,” Braybon said.

Jones added that those making the offensive comments “should not be allowed to forget they said them” and the LGBTI community needs to work hard to make sure marriage equality happens and Safe Schools is protected.

“I’m Irish and I find Australians can be a bit lackadaisical on issues like this and even in the gay community, people are not taking to the streets, but in Ireland we were out there,” he said.

Penny Sharpe was happy with the turnout at the 2016 GLORIAs and amount of people who voted, both of which had increased from the 2015 event.

“There’s a lot of interest this year, I think with the election year with the heat there’s been around marriage equality and the plebiscite and just the continual pitch battle over Safe Schools has meant people actually want the chance to come and show their distaste for that and come together to look back on the tough fights we have ahead and work to get things done,” she said.

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