UK Pride organisers have hit out at national LGBT equalities charity Stonewall for a lack of engagement and support for the movement.
They have demanded a public apology which acknowledges the ‘disquiet’ between the charity and Pride organisers, and asked that Stonewall pass on profits from a Primark deal to LGBT organisations in countries where their Pride clothing range is manufactured, where it is illegal to be gay. Stonewall are to receive 20% from the sales of merchandise in several stores across the UK and Europe.
In a survey of UK Pride organisers, they rated Stonewall 3.2 out of 10 for how supportive they are as an organisation. They were rated 3.75 out of 10 for how happy Pride organisers were with Stonewall. The survey results are published here.
Individual responses to the survey indicate a positive view of Stonewall’s overall campaigning and equality work, however most were critical of the support shown to local Pride organisers. One comment in particular said Stonewall needed to “stop acting like the bloody LGBT police” and another said “they are unpleasant to work with and completely unsupportive”.
Leaders from the UK Pride Organisers Network, which represents over 120 Pride organisers across the country, met with Stonewall on Monday evening to discuss the results of the survey. Earlier this year, Stonewall pulled out of Pride in London after a row over the diversity of the event, especially for people of colour.
According to Stonewall’s latest audited accounts, the organisation had a financial turnover for the year to 30th September 2017 of £7.4 million and has almost £5million in free cash reserves.
Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland said:
”Despite the progress we’ve made as a movement we still have a long way to go until we can say all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people are accepted without exception. Prides are often volunteer-led and take an enormous amount of time, effort and resources to host. They are essential to the communities they serve, because they enable the visibility and celebration of LGBT people.”
“Stonewall is also working towards acceptance for all LGBT people, both here and abroad, alongside activists, organisations and local groups in the UK and in countries across the world. There’s so much more to do before everyone has full equality. We welcome conversations with Prides on how we can move forward as one movement.”
A spokesperson for UKPON told us:
“It was a positive meeting with Stonewall and we look forward to their fuller response and details of how they plan to build bridges.”
Another brand has released details of its LGBT-inspired products timed to coincide with Pride season. Love it or hate it, Marmite will make a donation from every specially personalised jar costing £5.49, with 25p going to…..you guessed it, Stonewall.
Main pic: Stonewall