News & Politics

British Authorities Champion LGBT Message for London Pride Parade

Twitter screenshot of Parliament lit up in rainbow colors.

On Friday night, London’s Palace of Westminster, the building which houses Britain’s Parliament, was lit up in rainbow flag colors for the first time. But the British government did much more than this to champion the LGBT message for Saturday’s Pride parade, which is estimated to have 1 million participants.

“Pride brings people together in joyful celebration of our values of freedom, tolerance, and equality,” Prime Minister Theresa May declared in a video statement. “At its heart, it is about a simple theme: love. That’s why this year’s theme — ‘love happens here’ — couldn’t be more appropriate.”

May was far from the only major government official endorsing the LGBT message. Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the most prominent opposition leader to May’s government, declared that people participating were “sending an uplifting message of celebration and pride,” and emphasized that his political party pushed the decriminalization of homosexuality and transgender legal recognition.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted, “Here in London you are free to be who you want to be and love who you want to love. Happy Pride London!!”

But the official recognition went beyond political leaders. Parliament lit up in rainbow colors for the first time. Here is a picture from the PolitikUK Twitter account, showing the iconic Elizabeth Tower (better known for the name of the bell inside, “Big Ben”).

London’s Metropolitan Police endorsed the LGBT event. They even wore rainbow epaulettes on their uniforms to celebrate.

Even the London Ambulance Service staff did the same.

The London Fire Brigade tweeted a picture of a rainbow-colored firetruck.

The National Health Service (NHS) posted a picture of a police car, an ambulance, and a firetruck all painted in rainbow colors for the parade. “We’re proud to support #PrideInLondon this weekend,” the government organization declared.

Even the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office posted a video about LGBT people fighting persecution. The video lamented that “roughly 2.8 million can’t freely express who they love without fear of persecution,” and that only 17 countries “allow trans people to change their gender in legal documents without medical intervention or sterilization.”

These full-throated government endorsements inspired many people, but even in Britain not everyone wants to celebrate the LGBT message.

“I’m white, British, heterosexual & of no particular religion. I’m in the majority but why do I feel marginalised?” Paul Wells tweeted, with the hashtag #PrideInLondon.

LGBT activists have marched in London pride parades since July 1972. Saturday’s parade marks 50 years since the British government decriminalized homosexuality.

Perhaps relatedly, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) consecrated Andy Lines as a missionary bishop for Britain and Europe late last month. While Britain is officially a Christian country with an established church (The Church of England), many Christians consider the embrace of LGBT ideology to be a rejection of clear Bible teaching on sexuality and identity in Christ as opposed to gender.

“The Anglican Church in North America is very concerned to bring the pure gospel, the gospel which is in accord with the doctrine of Christ and the teaching of holy scripture,” Archbishop Glen Davies declared in a statement about Lines’ consecration.

“Unfortunately, some members who claim to be part of the Anglican Communion have discarded Christ’s teaching about marriage and human sexuality. These are significant features of the gospel,” Davies added.

Last year, Christian speaker and author Eric Metaxas lamented to PJ Media that “you have [an] activist government effectively establishing a religion … by taking very strong positions on ultimate questions like the human person, on sexuality.” Britain has no constitutional prohibition on establishing a religion, the way the United States does. In fact, Britain has an established religion — but it seems that LGBT positions on sexuality, gender, and humanity are a driving heart of its worldview.

The full-throated support which Britain gave to the LGBT movement on Saturday is arguably out of step with its religious heritage, and it ironically has the effect of making some people feel marginalized.

Will the people of Britain — and the Left more generally — listen to such concerns and acknowledge that not everyone embraces the LGBT message? Or will they continue to demonize those who disagree as “bigots” and “homophobes”?