EPOA withdraws from UK government LGBTI+ conference

The European Pride Organisers Association has today (Monday 4 April) written to the UK government to advise that we are withdrawing our support from their global LGBTI+ conference taking place in June.

This Association’s Board reached this decision on Saturday after several weeks of damning news reports on the UK government’s policy and action – or inaction – on LGBTI+ equality. In just the last month:

  • The UK’s National Human Rights Institution, the Equality & Human Rights Commission has faced calls for it to lose its international status because of problematic statements on trans equality
  • The UK government performed a double u-turn on banning conversion therapy, and now plans to exclude trans conversion therapy from proposed legislation
  • Last week the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, made a transphobic joke at a major event hours before one of his MPs came out as trans

In the letter to the Prime Minister’s special envoy on LGBTI+ rights, Lord Herbert, EPOA President Kristine Garina said:

Thank you for taking the time to meet with us a few months ago to discuss the ‘Safe To Be Me’ Conference that the UK Government is hosting in June. We were excited to hear that you were keen to have the Pride movement involved.

It is a matter of profound concern to the European Pride Organisers Association that the UK government, far from being a leading actor in the movement for LGBTI+ equality, appears to be sliding backwards. Last week’s double u-turn on banning conversion therapy, coupled with the Prime Minister’s highly offensive ‘joke’ about gender identity, are just two of many issues of concern.

Strong and committed political leadership is needed to bring about advances for LGBTI+ people, and we are dismayed that the UK Government is failing LGBTI+ people in your country and abroad.

It is for this reason that the Board of the Association has decided that we will not participate in or attend the Conference.

Many other leading organisations have also withdrawn support, including Stonewall and VICE News has reported that sponsors and other organisations are pulling out.

This decision does not affect the EuroPride 30th anniversary event in London on Monday 27 June.

Media enquiries: Contact details can be found on this page.

Pic: Heidi Fin, Unsplash

 

 

 

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