Actress Ellen Page has tweeted an angry message expressing her fury about the Queen giving a top award to a North Ireland politician blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people.
Maurice Mills, a Democratic Unionist councillor for Ballymena, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours list for his services to local government. However, the award prompted Page to tweet: “The Queen honored a politician who blamed Hurricane Katrina & AIDS on LGBT people – f*** that.” Her message was accompanied by a picture of the Queen, and has been retweeted over 2,000 times.
The Daily Mail reports that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Councillor Mills said: “The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival [in New Orleans] which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people. Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised.”
He also said: “This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids.”
He has never retracted his views.
Ellen Page came out as a lesbian last year, after telling a Las Vegas conference she was “tired of hiding”. She said that she had suffered for years due her fear of telling people her sexuality, but told the audience: “I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”
Although the awards in the New Year’s Honours list are nominally awarded by the Queen, they are in practice decided by senior civil servants and politicians. Mr Mills was given the award for his work as a local councillor, and it is not known whether officials knew of his remarks when deciding the award.