Nominations are open for the third annual GLORIA Awards, highlighting the most offensive comments about the LGBTI community.

Hosted by NSW MLC Penny Sharpe, GLORIA stands for Gay and Lesbian Outrageous, Ridiculous and Ignorant Comment Awards.

“Just when we think things are getting better for LGBTI people and their families, high profile people come out with some of the most atrocious comments,” Sharpe said.

According to Sharpe, comments this month by the head of the Australian Christian Lobby that compared the health of gay men with that of smokers were another reminder of homophobic attitudes which persist in the community.

“Jim Wallace’s comments suggesting that smoking is healthier than gay marriage have received a flood of nominations,” she said.

“As too has Tony Abbott for denying the Liberal Party a conscience vote on marriage equality, but letting Barnaby Joyce cross the floor on foreign investment.”

Sharpe began the awards in 2010 as a way of highlighting homophobia in public life.

“The GLORIAs really arose out of my experiences and the experiences of others faced with the ridiculous things that people say about the LGBTI community,” she said.

“A lot of it is harmless and pretty stupid, but some can be really dangerous as well and the GLORIAs is an attempt, in a fun way, to stand on the table and point at homophobia.”

The GLORIAs are divided into eight categories covering politics, media, sport, law, religion, online, international and LGBTI community.

There will also be stiff competition in the sports category this year between Margaret Court (for her stance on gay marriage), Jason Akermanis (for claiming nobody cared about a young gay Victorian country footballer’s campaign to get the AFL to introduce a Pride Round), and St Kilda forward Stephen Milne (for on-field homophobic taunts).

“Nominations are still open and if you have heard or read something that offended or annoyed you, please nominate it through the GLORIAs website,” Sharpe said.

INFO: www.theglorias.com.au

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