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Tory politician refuses to give money to Pride, says LGBT people are ‘misguided by a powerful ideology’

Lily Wakefield November 7, 2019
Tory counsellor Mary Douglas

Tory counsellor Mary Douglas said LGBT+ are "misguided by a powerful ideology", and previously said trans people were mentally ill. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

A Tory politician in Wiltshire refused to help fund a Pride parade with a public grant, and said that LGBT+ people were “misguided by a powerful ideology”.

Salisbury Pride UK applied for a £1,000 grant from Salisbury Area Board towards its total £18,000 costs to hold the festival and parade.

Representing Salisbury St Francis and Stratford on Wiltshire Council, Tory councillor Mary Douglas rejected the motion, and said: “I cannot support this.”

According to Salisbury Journal, she continued: “I am not saying I do not accept or respect or love people who identify as LGBTQ+ because I do.

“I support completely their right to make choices, however I do not support those choices themselves, nor the ideology and world view they represent.

“These are wonderful people, well-meaning and sincere, but misguided by a powerful ideology.

“I do not want to be a part of promoting this, and I want to be clear this is not just my view, I represent a large number of people, some who are afraid to say something.”

Luckily Douglas was outvoted and Salisbury Pride received its grant anyway, and the festival will take place next year on June 13.

Salisbury City Council member Caroline Corbin wrote on Twitter: “Great to see we have some councillor support. There is no place for homophobia in Salisbury and no excuse to air personal views on a public platform.

“Mary Douglas has again proved she is no longer fit for office. Shame on her.”

Douglas has previously said that trans people are “deeply troubled” and mentally ill, comparing dysphoria to having an eating disorder. 

Speaking about Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reform to BBC Radio 4, she said: “In my view, it should not be easy to do something as massive as change your gender and the law is there to protect us, normally from other people, but also sometimes from ourselves.

“Until very recently, that was the medical consensus and I don’t see that anything has changed.

“It’s certainly not intended to be insulting but if, for example, you have someone with anorexia who says ‘I am too fat’ … it’s not actually respectful or loving to affirm that person in a belief that is false, that doesn’t tie up with reality.”

The Tory politician continued: “I think many people have really profound concerns about this.

“If somebody thinks they have a mismatch between how they think and the way their body is, the question is: ‘Which should be changed?’

“What’s interesting is that many people who have gender dysphoria also have – not all, but many – other mental health conditions, like depression or drug addiction.

“They’re deeply troubled. And it has been proven that, when they change their gender, that doesn’t solve those issues. So, there’s an underlying issue here.”

More: Conservative, counsellor, Pride, Salisbury, Tory, Wiltshire

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