Waitrose’s donation to bigot slammed
UK Food retailer Waitrose is in the midst of a row this Christmas over a donation it made to a Christian café run in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, by Paul ‘Kill the Gays’ Shinners.
When it was reported by Pink News that the Cornerstone Café had received £330 for its Christmas Lunch event from a branch of Waitrose in the town, dozens of readers left comments expressing disgust.
This was typical of the anger expressed:
F*ck Waitrose! How dare they give legitimacy and money to a man who is partially responsible for the deaths and torture of countless LGBT in Uganda??? I say screw them! This is disgusting, and they show no regret whatsoever for what they are doing, that says ENOUGH!
Waitrose remained defiant over its decision to hand over the cash to Shinners, despite the fact that his café was exposed as a hotbed of homophobia after Shinners had travelled to Uganda in 2012 to incite hatred against homosexuals.
A Waitrose spokesperson said:
This lunch was one of 300 Christmas events we’ve supported across the country as part of the Waitrose Christmas dinners campaign. The money Waitrose donated went to the Cornerstone Café to provide lunch for those who would otherwise be on their own at Christmas.
Let me strongly emphasise that Waitrose is an inclusive company, and our branches support thousands of community events across the country each year. It would be wrong to link this individual’s personal views with the community event that our St. Neots branch has supported.
The company later tweeted to “Rob71350” who expressed his anger over the donation:
This event was supported with the best intentions for local people & is in no way an expression of support for Mr Shinners’ views.
D B Law, a local activist who is currently raising funds for the production of a documentary about the spread of homophobia by mainly white evangelicals travelling to Africa, said he too “got the same thing” from Waitrose and emphasised:
They are not his personal views. They are actions. He uses his business and charity to fund his hate campaigns in Africa. He spoke in favour of genocide. The mass murder of LGBTs in Uganda. These are not views, but hate crimes. Waitrose has helped support and promote his business. They need to apologise and make reparations.
Pink News said that it understands that several customers had complained about the store’s decision to support Shinners’ Christmas Lunch event, and it had been “discussed” by its management who were aware of his views before the donation was made.
Earlier this year, a large demonstration by mainly gay Ugandans took place outside outside Shinners’ establishment. Shinners, as the pic above, shows, was less than ecstatic when the police refused to disperse the demonstrators.
Editor’s note: Law’s GoFundMe campaign has so far reached just over £800. Please let’s help him reach his target of £1,200 by the New Year.
Hat tip: Angela K.