National Trust members vote to continue celebrating Pride despite bigots’ best efforts

National Trust Pride flag

National Trust members have voted to continue celebrating Pride at the charity’s annual general meeting (AGM), despite a motion describing the event as “virtue-signalling”.

The National Trust is a charity and membership organisation for heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and owns a wide array of land and historic buildings across the country.

Earlier this year, anti-LGBTQ+ National Trust members asked their peers members to back banning “divisive” Pride events in a motion to be put to a vote at the AGM.

“The participation [in Birmingham Pride] was unaccountable, divisive and an exercise in virtue signalling,” the motion read.

“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.”

The effort was 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.

Green organised National Trust members who opposed Pride events and rewilding the British countryside under the banner Restore Trust.

But at the AGM on Saturday (5 November), when 127,000 out of six million National Trust members voted on resolutions, 65 per cent voted against the anti-LGBTQ+ motion.

Seven in 10 members voted to for the charity to continue rewilding and re-wetting projects on National Trust farmland.

The AGM also saw a vote for seven vacant council positions, with Green, who has referred to being gay as a “deviant lifestyle”, even openly the death penalty for queer people, and argued that it is impossible for a husband to rape his wife, running for election.

Luckily, he and six other Restore Trust candidates were all unsuccessful.

Hilary McGrady, director of the National Trust, said: “Our Annual General Meeting is one of the most important events in our calendar. It is an essential part of our democratic governance process, as it gives our members the opportunity to ask the questions on the subjects that matter most to them and to have their say on the direction and focus of the National Trust.

“Our AGM is also a celebration of everything we do: our stories, our places and our people. I am delighted that we were able to share so much of that today.”

On the Pride motion, a National Trust spokesperson previously 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… We fully support our staff, volunteers and visitors being able to take part in celebrations of LGBT+ society and history, including Pride.”