Barclays and Coutts tell Stonewall: Remove “Bigot Award”
Two big British banks have threatened to withdraw support from an awards dinner featuring a derogatory “bigot award” for which several Christians have been nominated.
Those nominated for Stonewall's 'Bigot of the Year' award include a Cardinal, an Archbishop, a member of the House of Lords and the former leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance.
They have all spoken out against government plans to redefine marriage and want marriage to remain defined as the life long, exclusive commitment between a man and a woman – a position shared by up to 70% of the population.
Christian Concern urged its supporters to ask the sponsoring companies to withdraw their support for the event.
According to Stonewall's website, the Awards evening is supported by high street bank Barclays, global professional services firm PwC, the Queen's bank Coutts & Co and internet search engine Google.
After receiving messages from Christians about the businesses’ support of the event, Barclays and Coutts both made statements disapproving of the “bigot award”.
Coutts stated: “We have advised Stonewall that we will be withdrawing our support of the awards unless they remove this category”.
Similarly, the Head of Global Diversity and InclusionatBarclays said: “Barclays does not support that award category either financially, or in principle and have informed Stonewall that should they decide to continue with this category we will not support this event in the future”.
The Chief Executive of Stonewall, the homosexual campaign group hosting the dinner, has said that they will not drop the bigot award despite the stance taken by Barclays and Coutts.
“I am relieved that Barclays and Coutts have responded so quickly and decisively to distance themselves from this derisory award,” said Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern.
“In seeking to humiliate and intimidate those who hold mainstream views on marriage rather than engaging with their arguments, Stonewall is stifling robust public discussion of an issue of great importance to the future of our society.
“It is deeply ironic that an organisation that claims to be opposed to bullying and even runs an initiative in primary schools, entitled ‘Celebrating Difference’, responds to difference of opinion by resorting to name-calling that, were it not more sinister, would be reminiscent of playground antics.”