Tesco rethinks its sponsorship of London gay pride festival
Fri, 23 Dec 2011
Tesco is rethinking its decision to support homosexual pride festivals in the future following complaints from customers.
Earlier this year Tesco dropped its support for Cancer Research’s ‘Race for Life’ and announced shortly after that it would become a headline sponsor of Britain’s largest homosexual festival, Pride London.
The move prompted a storm of controversy with one critic questioning why the retailer had chosen to align itself to such an “aggressive political organisation”.
But now the supermarket giant has indicated that it will no longer sponsor homosexual pride events, and will instead look for other ways to support its homosexual staff support group, Out at Tesco.
In an email to those who have complained, Tesco insisted that its support for London Pride “implies no moral, philosophical or political stance”.
It added that most of its charitable and community support is “focused on delivering practical benefits, rather than on funding awareness-raising events.
“We will therefore discuss with Out at Tesco how we can support them in future years in ways that will not include sponsoring events.”
Last week The Christian Institute revealed that one of Tesco’s executives had branded Christians who oppose the redefinition of marriage as “evil”.
Nick Lansley, head of Research and Development at Tesco.com, said: “I’m also campaigning against evil Christians (that’s not all Christians, just bad ones) who think that gay people should not lead happy lives and get married to their same-sex partners.”
In response Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said: “Mr Lansley is entitled to his opinions, and Christians are entitled to choose not to shop at Tesco.”
However, Tesco subsequently moved to distance itself from Mr Lansley’s controversial comments, and insisted that it abhors criticism of religion.
A spokesman for the retailer said: “Mr Lansley’s comments, made in a personal capacity in 2008, in no way reflect the views of Tesco.”
The spokesman added: “We are very sorry that anyone might have thought that there was any blurring of the boundary between his personal comments and his work for Tesco. We have therefore asked him to remove the comments, and he has done so.”