LAST night NSW Parliament House hosted the annual Gay and Lesbian Outrageous, Ridiculous and Ignorant comments Awards (GLORIAs), with a large bipartisan crowd of politicians from both the Coalition and Labor and other public figures attending the event.

The GLORIAs, which give the public the opportunity to vote for the worst comments that they have read, seen or heard against the LGBTI community throughout the past year, are the brainchild of Labor’s candidate for the new electorate of Newtown and current upper house MP Penny Sharpe.

In a close battle with boxer and former NRL player Anthony Mundine, Prime Minister Tony Abbott won the Golden Gloria for the most ignorant comment of the year, which focused specifically on his comments over past 12 months about marriage equality.

In accordance with GLORIAs tradition, the Golden Gloria is decided via a “boo off”, with the winners of the night’s five other prizes all being eligible for the award.

With both Abbott and Mundine being tied in terms of the volume of their respective “boos”, both were subjected to a second round of boos in order to determine the winner.

During a recent interview, Sharpe told the Star Observer that while the event highlighted the most provocative comments of the previous year, the event itself is widely viewed as being non-partisan, and that the nominees for the awards themselves had been known to attend and support the event.

“The idea behind it is to have a public forum where we can publicly name and shame homophobia and also transphobia in public life,” she said.

“So it’s really is also a direct pinch from The Ernies, (which) is an award that’s been running for over 20 years that my good friend Meredith Bergman has always run.”

The night’s other GLORIA winners also included openly-gay former Liberals Sydney federal electorate candidate Sean O’Connor for preferencing the Christian Democrats above his LGBTI friendly rival Tanya Plibersek, through to the Ugandan MP Simon Lokodo for his comments about the Ugandan LGBTI community since the passing of anti-LGBTI legislation in the Ugandan Parliament earlier this year.

Other winners also included the Bairnsdale Advertiser for stating in an editorial that “trans-genderism is the enemy of healthy childhood development”, through to the Penrith Christian School for publicly claiming that homosexuality is an abomination unto God.

Other nominees included ALP Senator-elect Joe Bullock for his commentary towards outgoing Western Australian Senator Louise Pratt and her openly-transgender partner Aram Hosie, as well as Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt for saying “ABC staff must call Manning a woman even when he’s still a man, just because he says so. Just like I must call a white… No. Best not go there”.

Christian Democratic Party leader and upper house MP Fred Nile was also the subject of considerable attention last night, thanks to being nominated for three different awards while also having two drag performances by Barbra Blacksheep in tribute to him.

For the full list of nominees for the GLORIAs, visit

Image: Ian Roberts with his partner at the GLORIAs last night (Picture: Ann-Marie Calilhanna; Star Observer)

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