Anger over Stonewall's 'Bigot of the Year' award

The Parliamentary Officer of the Catholic Church in Scotland has attacked gay lobby group Stonewall for "disparaging" those who do not share its views.

Scottish Catholic leaders Cardinal Keith O' Brien and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia are among the nominations for the group's 'Bigot of the Year' award.

They have both openly attacked the Scottish Government's attempts to legalise gay marriage.

Writing in the Sunday Express, John Deighan criticised the "intolerance" of Stonewall and its annual award.

"The symbolism of its bigot of the year award speaks volumes of its stridency and confidence in denouncing and disparaging those who do not share its agenda," he said.

"In a society which claims to value equality and diversity should we be attacking and demeaning those who don’t share our views?

"It does seem incongruous that in our normally politically correct world, such an awards ceremony can even take place."

Mr Deighan, who has faced calls for his arrest on "charges of inciting hatred", said that promoting the traditional view of marriage "opens a door to vilification and hate".

He said that Nick Clegg's recent slip-up, in which supporters of traditional marriage were labelled 'bigots' in a draft speech, reflected an increasingly "well-rehearsed vocabulary".

Children are also receiving abuse for daring to support traditional marriage, he warned.

In addition to 'bigot' and 'homophobe', he said children were being labelled as a 'Nazi', 'fascist' and 'Hitler lover'.

Mr Deighan concluded: "It's time to acknowledge we are in a propaganda war. Disgracefully, only one side is being subsidised and publicly funded.

"Many may find it easy to stand back and not rush to the defence of Church leaders like Cardinal O’Brien and Archbishop Tartaglia.

"Their high profile status puts them at the top of a 'hit list'. They may be today’s victims, we may all be tomorrow’s."