Fight BP’s pink-washing

Pinkwashing is a public relations tactic, involving the championship of LGBT equality and tolerance in order to offset or ‘wash’ over other relevant human rights abuses, even abuse against other LGBTQ+ communities.

In recent years fossil fuel company BP has – for strategic reasons – tried to foster an image of being pro-LGBT+ rights. Sponsorships, events, adverts and programmes in the UK. They aim to create a BP identity that is queer friendly, allowing the company a social license to continue operating, when other parts of its business propagate homophobia, social injustice and climate change.

BP is using the queer community in the UK as a prop to legitimise their business model, whilst turning a blind eye to state sanctioned homophobic abuse in the countries it operates.

By allowing BP to sponsor Pride and our student LGBTQ+ societies, we are giving BP permission to ride on the back of LGBTQ+ struggle. BP cheaply use our pride as a trade off for human rights abuses around the world.

Download the briefing for LGBTQ students and societies

Sign our open letter calling on LGBTQ+ people working at BP to cancel donations that support homophobia

BP enables crackdown in Egypt

BP is the largest foreign investor in Egypt with a $12bn gas deal, placing them as the largest contributor to the military regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Over the past two years El-Sisi’s regime has become increasingly threatening to the lives of trans and queer Egyptians.

BP’s stance is not simply shutting its eyes on the repression: it actively props up el-Sisi’s regime. In April 2016 - at the same time as BP was finalizing its gas deal with the regime - an Egyptian court sentenced 11 men to prison for ‘debauchery’, with sentences ranging from 3 to 12 years.

BP puts homophobes into office in the US

BP and its employees donate a sizeable amount of money for election campaigns of a range of politicians in the US. Among them is John Culberson, a Texas congressman, who receives BP's biggest donation. In 1993 Culberson signed onto a ‘friend of the court’ statement that “called homosexuality a psychiatric condition
 that ‘endangers the public health.’ [It states] homosexuality is ‘closely associated with other anti-social, deleterious behavior.’”

BP is helping political candidates get elected, who then use their positions to attack LGBTQ people. With Donald Trump in office, BP’s congress protegees will now be supporting his homophobic, transphobic, racist, and climate denialist agenda.

fossil fuel extraction and climate change

BP’s pinkwashing strategy asks us to forget that their business plan ignores the climate crisis caused by an intentional delay to move away from burning of fossil fuels. It asks us to pretend that as long as BP are running an LGBT recruitment fair in London, it is OK to remove front-line communities from their homes in the quest for extraction and profit in other parts of the world.

Download the full report

drop bp as Queer sponsor

National Student Pride dropped BP as a sponsor after 2 years of campaigning by No Pride in BP, People & Planet and Platform. Other LGBTQ+ student societies are doing the same.

We stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ people around the world to fight BP's pinkwash.

There are 3 ways you can get involved in the campaign:

  1. Celebrate National Student Pride dropping BP as a sponsor and ask them to make a statement.
  2. Get your LGBTQ+ society to ban BP as a sponsor.
  3. Sign our open letter to call on LGBTQ+ people working at BP to stop donations that fund homophobia

We'd love to hear from you so we can work together to reject the cynical attempts of BP to “pinkwash” themselves by association with the LGBTQ+ community.