National Trust members to vote on banning ‘divisive’ and ‘woke’ Pride celebrations

National Trust Pride flag

Anti-LGBTQ+ National Trust members are asking members to vote for the charity to ban “divisive” Pride events.

The National Trust is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which owns a huge variety of land and historic buildings.

Despite the organisation having almost six million members, resolutions for its Annual General Meeting (AGM), to be held on 5 November, can be put forward with the support of just 50 members.

This year, members will be asked to vote on a resolution calling for National Trust participation in “divisive” Pride events to be banned.

The resolution states: “Be it resolved that this AGM deplores participation by the National Trust in gay pride parades as divisive and an unaccountable waste of members’ subscriptions.”

The accompanying explanatory note reads: “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.”

In its 2022 AGM handbook, the National Trust’s board of trustees lays out its own position against the resolution, but ultimately has no control over whether the resolution goes ahead.

“The National Trust’s role is to protect and promote everyone’s heritage, of which LGBTQ+ history is an important part,” the trustees said.

“We do not believe that taking part in any of the cultural celebrations we support is divisive, in fact we see these events as an opportunity to bring people together.”

Any and all members who joined the National Trust on or before 27 August 2022 are eligible to vote on resolutions, even if they do not attend the AGM in person or online, with a closing date of 28 October 2022.

A spokesperson for the National Trust told PinkNews: “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 LGBT+ society and history, including Pride.”

Anti-LGBTQ+ Christian who wants to ban Pride is also running for National Trust council position

The Pride resolution has been spearheaded by Stephen Green, a National Trust member and director of the far-right, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-abortion, anti-evolution and anti-feminism website Christian Voice.

The AGM will also include a vote to elect National Trust members to the charity’s 36-member council. The council, which currently has seven vacancies, is able to appoint the National Trust’s chair, deputy chair and board of trustees members, and is required to hold them to account.

This year, Green is running to become a council member.

He is campaigning for votes on a distinctly anti-LGBTQ+ platform, decrying the National Trust’s “apparent obsession with fashionable causes” like Pride, and calling on the organisation to end “its current fixation with ‘woke’ causes”.

“Under our democratic governance arrangements, any National Trust member has the right to stand for election to the council,” a spokesperson for the National Trust said.

“Our council will recommend certain candidates, in line with our constitution. As we enter a new period of elections, candidates’ names can be found in our AGM booklet or on our website. Our council would not recommend any candidates who do not share the Trust’s values or who oppose our charitable objectives.”

In contrast with the National Trust’s mission statement – “for everyone, for ever” – Green has referred to being gay as a “deviant lifestyle” and even openly supported a Ugandan bill that would have made gay sex punishable by death.

Green has described Pride as “an in-your-face offensive onslaught of aggression, intolerance, depravity and division designed to intimidate and assault the mind”, previously argued that it is impossible for a husband to rape his wife, and has branded feminism as an “anti-Christian movement sets up an ungodly, unseemly competition between men and women”.