Belfast Telegraph

Canadian actress Ellen Page blasts new year honour for anti-gay DUP man Maurice Mills

By Amanda Ferguson

Award-winning Canadian actress Ellen Page has taken a swipe at the Queen after she awarded an MBE to a DUP man who said Hurricane Katrina was 'God's revenge' for an annual gay pride event held in New Orleans.

There has been outrage among equality activists after former Ballymena mayor Maurice Mills was awarded an MBE in the Queen's new year's honours list for his services to local government.

Mills, a "committed born again Christian", has been accused of homophobia after he said Katrina, which killed 1,300 people, was God's revenge for an annual Pride event called Southern Decadence.

"The media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence festival which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people," said Mills in 2006.

"Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practised."

The comments have never been retracted or condemned by the DUP.

Mills also blamed the spread of Aids in Africa on gay people.

"This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids," he said.

Ellen Page, the 27-year-old star of movies such as Juno and the X-Men series, came out as a lesbian in an emotional speech last year that went viral on the internet.

She took to Twitter yesterday to share her distaste over the controversial honour and post a link to an online news report on the matter.

"'The Queen honoured a politician who blamed Hurricane Katrina & Aids on LGBT people'..." she wrote to her 1.2m followers. "F*** that."

Last night, when the Belfast Telegraph contacted Maurice Mills he declined to comment on Ms Page's comments.

On the calls some are making for his award by the Queen to be revoked, he said: "They know very little of my background if they are talking like that."

John O'Doherty, the director of The Rainbow Project, said he was disappointed Maurice Mills had been awarded an MBE.

"The Rainbow Project has reaffirmed its commitment to work with all faith groups to engage, learn and address the issues that exist between our communities," he added.

"We hope that political and faith leaders choose to engage in this conversation and show true leadership rather than insulting our community from the sidelines."


John O'Doherty is director of The Rainbow Project which works to improve the physical and emotional health of LGBT people in Northern Ireland. "I am disappointed Maurice Mills has been awarded an MBE despite his insistence that natural disasters and an epidemic impacting on the poorest and most vulnerable in the world were caused by God's hatred of same sex relationships."

New Year Honours: DUP politician Maurice Mills who blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people awarded MBE by Queen

Ellen Page: I'm gay. Star of Juno and Beyond Two Souls says she is 'tired of hiding' 

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