Objection launched against Progress Pride flags on Regent Street

24 May 2024

Christian Concern has launched an objection against Westminster City Council for ‘indoctrinating’ Londoners and ‘breaching planning control’ after repeatedly proceeding with mass LGBTQI+ Pride flag displays without proper consultation on one of the most famous streets in the world.

In our letter to the council, we say that if it fails to undertake a proper Equality Impact Assessment and proceeds with the display this June, we will pursue a Judicial Review.

In recent years, the display has included over 300 LGBTQI+ Progress Pride flags which have essentially taken over Regent Street for weeks on end and beyond the time allotted.

Christian Concern has launched the objection ahead of the proposed display, which is funded by the Crown Estate. The objection was initially published on the council’s website, but has since been pulled.

Westminster City Council’s chief executive, Stuart Love, has recently commented that he is ‘proud to be called too woke’ and calls the council ‘Wokeminster Council.’

The objection letter highlights that the display is ‘divisive’ ‘demeaning’, ‘marginalising’ and ‘indoctrinating’:

“The Flag proclaims a secular religious ideology which seeks to group together categories of people based upon their sexual preferences and identity: in doing this it creates division between those people who do not recognise themselves under the umbrella of its myriad causes and those that do. Those who do not join under the Flag have been considered as “hateful”, “discriminatory”, “intolerant” and “bigoted”.”

It adds that:

“It would be hard to imagine that Westminster City Council would approve, without serious investigation as to its impact, a proposed display by a religion that wished to erect dozens of giant flags all proclaiming the truth of its religion to the exclusion of all others; and yet this is essentially what the Flag is doing: raised far above everyone’s heads it proclaims a divisive ideology of identity politics with a moral obligation to accept all manner of sexual expression as morally acceptable.”

In light of the government’s recent publication of its trans guidance for schools and the Cass Review, it says that:

“The Government has just announced that it will prohibit the indoctrination and confusion of primary school children with trans ideologies, yet this display proposes to do just that, exposing the 100s of thousands of children who walk up and down Regent Street, including those who visit Hamleys, to a message and symbols which will be unlawful to teach and display in schools.”

The letter exposes that the application claims that: “The Crown Estate have liaised with the neighbours and local community”. However, there appears to be “no evidence of that consultation to support that statement, let alone demonstrable evidence of any adequate consultation that has been undertaken with any groups or people likely to be impacted by the Flag and its divisive ideology.”

The letter also exposes that despite the display only being permitted to be in place until the 11 July 2023 last year, it remained in place for weeks after this date, almost becoming a permanent fixture of the street.

The letter concludes:

“In light of the issues identified in this letter, no approval should be given to the proposed display this year absent a full Equality Impact Assessment which needs to include a full consultation with the minority groups who risk being marginalised and stigmatised by this display as well as with churches, religious organisations and other faith groups representing views which would be threatened by the militant promotion of the Flag’s ideological message.”

Christian Concern has also today launched a petition calling for the display to be stopped.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

“Many people experience these flags as an attack on historic, traditional beliefs about sex and gender. They send the message that people holding these views – which are worthy of respect in a democratic society – are not welcome.

“We are urging Westminster City Council to block these displays in 2024 and in the future so that everyone can feel welcome in Regent Street and the surrounding areas. If the council chooses to proceed with the display we will have no option but to pursue legal action.”

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