News (World)

Conservative Christians want “ugly” Pride flags removed from street

Intersex-inclusive Progress Pride flags flying over London's Regent Street.
Intersex-inclusive Progress Pride flags flying over London's Regent Street. Photo: David Hudson

A prominent Christian organization in the U.K. is trying to get Progress Pride flags removed from a London street.

Since 2022, dozens of Progress Pride flags — which include black, brown, pastel blue, pastel pink, and white angled stripes and a yellow triangle containing a purple circle in addition to the traditional rainbow stripes — have been strung across central London’s Regent Street. The variation on the Pride flag is meant to foreground the inclusion of people of color, trans people, and intersex people in the LGBTQ+ community.

“It really is a flag for everyone,” Intersex Equality Rights U.K. founder Valentino Vecchietti, who first incorporated elements of the Intersex Pride flag to the Progress Pride variation, told the BBC in 2022.

But not everyone agrees. In late May, Christian Concern, an evangelical Christian advocacy group, launched an online petition urging Westminster City Council leader Adam Hug to “stop authorizing large scale displays of Pride Progress flags in Westminster, in particular Regent Street.”

The group calls the flags “divisive.”

“They do not promote inclusion – in fact, they exacerbate tensions between people of different characteristics – religions, sexual orientations and gender identity,” Christian Concern’s petition reads. They claim that “many people experience these flags as an attack on historic, traditional beliefs about sex and gender” and argue that the flags send the message that people who hold those beliefs are not welcome.

The group takes specific issue with the flag’s inclusion of the colors of the Trans Pride flag. “Rainbow flags are bad enough – but ‘Progress Pride’ flags add transgender stripes – a movement that has done untold damage to gender-questioning children in recent years. They also add brown and black stripes, wrongly conflating racial identity with sexual and gender identities,” the petition reads. “These flags are particularly offensive, and ugly to boot.”

Christian Concern further argues that flags “even cause division amongst the groups they claim to represent, many of whom are concerned about gender ideology” and that they are “gaudy” and “not in keeping with the historic character of central London.”

As of May 31, the petition has received nearly 19,500 signatures of its 20,000 goal.

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