Tesco, one of the largest supermarket/retail chains in the United Kingdom, is in hot water with religious groups because one of the company’s top honchos took a personal stand against anti-gay Christians. Back in 2008 Nick Lansley, the company’s openly gay head of Research and Development, wrote on his Flickr profile page, “I’m…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.”
Not that we’re taking sides, but good for you, Nick.
Now, some three years after the comment was made, the Christian Institute—a nondenominational charity dedicated to “the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom” is backing a boycott of Tesco. (Delayed reaction much?)
The boycott is also prompted by Tesco making a £30,000 (roughly $47, 000) donation to London Pride. (Which, by the way, is just a paltry 0.05% of the company’s total annual donations.
“I won’t be shopping at Tesco this Christmas, and I am repeatedly hearing from other Christians who have already come to the same conclusion,” Christian Institute Colin Hart said, “Mr Lansley is entitled to his opinions, and Christians are entitled to choose not to shop at Tesco.”
We’re sure you’re on Santa’s naughty list, Mr. Hart.
A Tesco spokesman told the Telegraph, “Mr Lansley’s comments, made in a personal capacity in 2008, in no way reflect the views of Tesco… 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.”
So Lansley (at left), made a private comment on his photo page—one that’s in no way connected to his job—and his employer should be published? If Lansley was a Fundamentalist Christian who posted a comment bashing marriage equality, you can bet Hart and his cronies would be defending his remarks from all comers.
We’re disappointed Tesco made Lansley, who’s been with the company for 23 year, take down his comment and is distancing itself from his sentiment. But good on them for giving a big check to London Pride.
To our UK readers, pop in and buy a packet of biscuits. Tell ’em Queerty sent you.
Images via Mark Hillary, Nick Lansley