Tesco donates £100k to conversion therapy ban activists

8, June 2022

Tesco yesterday announced that to celebrate ‘Pride’ month, it will donate a total of £100,000 to LGBT charities, alongside being lead sponsor for London and Brighton Pride.

The money will be split between ‘Switchboard’, ‘Fighting with Pride’, and ‘Terrence Higgins Trust’. Each of these groups is calling for the Government to bring in a broad conversion therapy ban.

The supermarket says it has donated almost £600,000 to 'LGBTQ+ charities' over the past three years.

Christians remain, at best, an afterthought

‘Switchboard’ and ‘Fighting with Pride’ (part of LGBT ‘Consortium’) are members of the Ban Conversion Therapy campaign. It has called for a ban which covers prayer, pastoral care and Christian parenting.

Chairperson of the campaign, Jayne Ozanne, even said ‘gentle, non-coercive prayer’ must be covered. And the group has ludicrously called for a ban to cover “private prayer” and “casual conversations”.

In 2020, the retail giant gave a single donation of £80,000 to one of the biggest backers of the campaign, Mermaids, which has been accused of teaching extreme ideologies in schools, promoting dangerous messages about gender to young children.

Other previous donations have included £160,000 (over two years) to the Albert Kennedy Trust, who said a conversion therapy ban must have no exemptions for ‘faith’.

While Tesco claims to be “committed to creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates the diversity of its colleagues and customers”, its donations to these charities sends a signal to Christians that they remain, at best, an afterthought.

By providing huge sums of money to these groups, Tesco becomes a financial backer of their campaign for a law that would attack freedom of belief across the UK.

Fuelling the fire of identity politics

Many other corporations will make substantial donations to LGBT groups this month. Companies who want to advertise their support for LGBT customers and staff often add rainbow colours to their logos and signage. But activists now complain that using the symbols without donating money is merely ‘virtue signalling’.

Large companies often feel they must give large sums to controversial groups, to prevent being ‘called out’ on social media or threatened with boycotts. But in seeking to avoid their own cancellation, they are fuelling divisive identity politics.

To those less familiar with activists’ demands, a broad conversion therapy ban may sound like a good idea – who wouldn’t want to end abusive practices? But the demands of these groups go far beyond this. They would have Christians criminalised for upholding the Bible’s teaching. Is that really what Tesco wants to support?

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