National Trust has U-turned on its volunteers wearing the LGBT rainbow after its membership reportedly took a hit following reports that up to 11 volunteers at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, were removed from their front of house duties after they refused to wear Rainbow lanyards.
Volunteers who refused to wear Rainbow lanyards and badges at the National Trust’s Norfolk’s Felbrigg Hall were told they could not take part in public facing roles causing “hundreds” of members to effectively boycott the trust and revoke their membership status. The trust has now u-turned on its decision meaning that volunteers who do not want to wear the rainbow symbol will not have to.
According to those who volunteer at the hall, all front of house workers were told to wear LGBT lanyards to celebrate one of previous owners of the hall, Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, who was gay.
The campaign is part of the National Trust’s Pride Prejudice and Pride season to mark the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
According to the Independent, a spokesperson for National Trust said it had never been their “intention” to ignore the personal opinions of its volunteer staff.
“We remain absolutely committed to our Pride programme, which will continue as intended, along with the exhibition at Felbrigg,
“However, we are aware that some volunteers had conflicting personal opinions about wearing the rainbow lanyards and badges. That was never our intention.
“We are therefore making it clear to volunteers that the wearing of the badge is optional and a personal decision.”
Boycott of National Trust membership
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that at least 250 members have phoned the trust and revoked their membership after boycott campaign was started. Many of those members have accused the charity of being “overly politically correct”.
According to those who volunteer at the hall, all front of house workers were told to wear LGBT lanyards to celebrate one of previous owners of the hall, Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, who was gay. The campaign is part of the National Trust’s Pride Prejudice and Pride season to mark the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
The real backlash will be on the LGBT Community
Editor of THEGAYUK, Jake Hook said,
“It’s a real shame that something that was supposed to bring attention to LGBT history and interesting characters from our collective history has backfired in a terrible way. Now, because of the way this has been handled, by the National Trust the LGBT community once again finds itself in the firing line from comment trolls, the right-wing media and online bullies.
“The volunteers who refused to wear the Rainbow lanyard should never be punished in this way. Rarely does punishment work in these situations and actually could cause a backlash towards the LGBT community.
“A programme of education and enlightenment about LGBT matters is always more preferable”.