The Anglo File

UK Superstore Tesco Pulling London Pride Support Due To Christian Boycott

Last week, Queerty reported about a small-potatoes boycott against the giant UK retailer and grocery store chain, Tesco, because a senior exec criticized anti-gay Christians in his Flickr profile.

We didn’t think that the boycott, led by the UK-based Christian Institute, would go anywhere. And from the comments on the article, neither did our readers.

Randy said, “Unfocused boycotts supported by very few people equals failed boycott. This will probably be the last you hear of it, and it will die a quiet death.”

Mike UK said sarcastically, “I’m sure Tesco must be quaking in their boots!”

Well, perhaps they are: Tesco had Research and Development director Nick Lansley take down his comment, and, since then, has pulled its charitable support for the annual London Pride celebration, stating that they would rather “support projects with practical benefits rather than events.”

Developing community and battling homophobia apparently aren’t practical.

In an email to the Christian Institute, a Tesco rep explained that the company’s support of the LGBT community “implies no moral, philosophical or political stance.”

Most of our charitable and community support is however 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.

We hope this will enable us to be true to our belief that everyone is welcome at Tesco without polarising opinion.

Out at Tesco is the store’s LGBT employee support network, with some 500 members nationwide.

Feeling the backlash from the backlash, Tesco told PinkNews it “would be dismayed if any readers felt we were anything other than fully committed to Out at Tesco and our LGBT staff… We are totally committed to tolerance and inclusion inside and outside our business. We will go on supporting Out at Tesco beyond Pride 2012.”

When the American LGBT community attempts boycotts of Target, Taco Bell, ExxonMobil, Chick-fil-A and dozens of other U.S. companies with anti-gay policies, we get little or no response. It’s rather curious to see a giant retailer running about trying to make everyone happy.

It must be said that the Brits have manners.

Images via Mark Hillary