National Trust members to consider banning Pride participation

Graham Robson November 3, 2022

This weekend National Trust members will vote on whether to prevent the charity from participating in LGBTQ+ Pride events at its Annual General Meeting, following the Trust’s participation in Birmingham Pride in 2019.

The wording of the resolution says: “The National Trust took part in the Birmingham Gay Pride event in 2019. In a letter to the proposer, the Director-General admitted no account was kept of the expenditure nor of any resulting subscription revenue.

“The participation was unaccountable, divisive and an exercise in virtue signalling. It was unbecoming in a body which should be dedicated to preserving the nation’s heritage for all and being a faithful steward of its members’ subscriptions.”

Responding, LGBTQ+ and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “The Trust’s role is to protect and promote everyone’s heritage, of which LGBTQ+ history is an important part.

“It is sad to see a tiny minority of National Trust members attempting to stoke a culture war that targets LGBTQ+ community events.

“By involvement in LGBTQ+ Prides, the National Trust is showing that it is inclusive for everyone. It is also encouraging LGBTQ+ people to become members. Anything that boosts membership is a good thing

“LGBTQ+ Pride is not political. It’s a human rights and community event.”

In response, a spokesperson for the National Trust said: “The National Trust was founded for the benefit of everyone. We serve the whole of our wonderfully diverse society and we want to do that to the very best of our ability. This includes supporting our staff, volunteers and visitors to take part in cultural celebrations including Pride, which they have been doing for many years.  

“The AGM and resolutions process is a critical part of our governance and importantly, it allows our members to vote on issues that matter to them. This resolution does not align with our values and it runs counter to our ethos.

“We urge our members to vote against this resolution and to help us keep the culture of understanding and respect that we are dedicated to fostering at the National Trust. We fully support our staff, volunteers and visitors being able to take part in celebrations of LGBTQ+ society and history, including Pride.”