UKIP LGBT spokesperson says party has “accepted” Gay Marriage Bill

Following this week’s historical passing of the Same Sex Marriage Bill, Milton has learned that senior officials in UKIP believe that the Party has accepted the new law and will not seek to repeal it should they be given the chance.

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Thomas Booker, the Chair of LGBT UKIP stated:

“As the Party has not made any statement in the light of the vote for same-sex marriage, it is clear to me that the Party’s policy on same-sex marriage (SSM) was mainly a way to express some of the concerns regarding rulings on religious institutions from the ECHR that it (rightly or wrongly) had and to open up the debate as to whether marriage should be a civil institution. A Party that is opposed wholly in principle to the idea of SSM would have, by now, produced a statement arguing that they would campaign to repeal the newly-assented law, and I am delighted to say that UKIP have done no such thing – it seems that they have accepted that the law has passed, and does not see it fit that such a law should be repealed. This would mean their policy was not created out of a “principle” to deny same sex couples from civil equality, but rather to raise some important questions about legal safeguards and the jurisdiction of Parliament that other Parties were not addressing.”

A senior UKIP spokesperson was asked by Milton what UKIP’s current policy was on the new SSM bill:

“Simple, we will work to ensure the safeguards for those of faith and their institutions are upheld, when inevitably they are challenged at the ECHR.”

So no mention on a repeal of the law in UKIP’s political future…

If UKIP has decided to drop their anti SSM policy– which has not been officially confirmed, only speculated by senior officials – then it would be a very good decision indeed; at least in our eyes. We think that any attempt to repeal this law would not only be an uphill battle for a minority party, but it would also be fighting against the current cultural mood of the country.

However, having said that, if UKIP do back down on their anti SSM position, then the party may well lose some of its disenfranchised Tory voters that it managed to attract over the course of the last two years – not ideal for an emerging political force.

UKIP finds itself on a sticky wicket here, and it will be interesting to see how they behave at the crease.

20 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a UKIP member and I’d be utterly disgusted if UKIP do drop opposition to the current gay marriage legislation. Regardless of the rights and wrongs of gay marriage itself, the *process* by which these laws have been forced on the British people without democratic mandate is plain wrong. If people want gay marriage then it must be fought for in the way that other social changes have bee, and the public needs to be allowed to chose, by the measures being placed on manifestos.

    The current Act should be repealed, and parties should take their positions, make their positions clear, and allow the public to decide.

    • Looks like you’ll have to be utterly disgusted then, Frank. Oh well.

      There is no indication that UKIP is about to become the first British political party in living memory to propose at an election the reversal of civil rights progression for LGBT Britons or any other minority group. Let’s face it, that’s what opposition to this law now means – Repeal. Do you have any idea how much damage UKIP did to itself among younger voters by opposing it? Among voters with gay friends and family? Yeah, sure, there were a handful of exceptions, there’s always gonna be, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that some great anti-democratic outrage has been conducted here.

      Rights are rights.

      Feel free to vent, to fume, to steam etc.

      What you suggest is not going to happen.

      • Civil Rights progression? For Homosexuals yes, for people in the workplace who espouse a different opinion it will be marked step back on the civil rights front. Under this bill, any employee who happens to state their opinion is one that opposes same sex marriage can be fired or face disciplinary action. There are similar concerns over teacher and public sector chaplains/ministers, some of whom are already facing prejudice in the workplace.
        The actual issue of Gay Marriage is not what makes me anxious about the consequences of this bill, its the power handed to the PC Crowd to make life a living hell for any person who holds a traditional opinion on the issue of marriage.

    • One of the silliest things I’ve ever read – how on Earth can you say that “process” is wrong. The Marriage Bill (Same Sex Marriage) passed through Parliament in exactly the same way as any other bill. It was subject to the same (if not more) critical review as any other bill. What happened is that those who opposed it were in the minority – it’s tough being in a minority Frank so I understand your pain, but do try to get over it. Our parliamentary democracy is not a directly democratic process… do you get a referendum on every law that passes through its halls, do you get a referendum on every budget which never appear in manifestos? Of course you don’t so why should this minor civil law change be any different. You demand that social changes be fought for – I can tell you that this change has been hard fought for and hard won by the LGB&T community. Which is only right – after all this law will only really effect that community anyways

  2. Oh dear. I see the homosexual contingent have piled in, declaring UKIP’s ‘common sense’ on this issue. A degree of bias dictating their forensic analysis? Surely not.

    Considering 70% of UKIP voters are over 50, most of them disillusioned Conservatives, I would suggest, that there is a coming clash between UKIP central and their more traditionally oriented supporters.

    Farage set out his stall in opposition to the other ‘social democratic’ party consensus, but every week it becomes clearer that the party leadership, which he directs is just a progressively liberal as the other parties. the immigration moratorium policy was first to wobble, now the support of marriage has fallen and soon they will be wide open to a traditional conservative challenge. For now let those of us inside and out hold our noses and try to ensure that Conservative and Labour blood falls upon the political carpet and the battle moves the culture slightly rightward.

    • For “traditionally-oriented”, read “social-authoritarian” or “regressive”.

      The 5-year moratorium was a stupid idea, remains a stupid idea, and any party that prides itself on “straight talking” or “common sense” would drop it like a hot brick, especially one that seems to pride itself on knowing more about business sense than the other three parties.

      “For now then let those of us both inside and out hold our noses”

      – That’s the question. Why should UKIP get away with spouting nonsense just to enable it to score a point against the Tories or Labour? Why should we give the Party credit for treating people like utter idiots? Why should they be rewarded for that?

      Consider…

      They say they believe in British business being competitive, yet propose a 5-year door-shut policy on immigration, and a tariff on foreign lorries using our roads.

      They say they are libertarian, yet oppose gay marriage, put forward candidates who seem to say gay adoption is effective to child abuse, and won’t even touch the issue of drug decriminalisation.

      And their tax policy is a total disaster, and a huge row is surely brewing, as Farage has publicly junked the flat tax idea but fellow MEP Godfrey Bloom has thrown his weight behind one.

      The Party’s a mess.

      • You know FCR, I have tended to find that the type of UKIP-leaning ‘libertarian’ who argues about this issue is only usually libertarian, because it serves personal, rather than general ends. At least in the majority of cases I have experienced. Of course a libertarian case can (and has) been made for gay marriage.

        So before I bother taking to task your points above, answer me this simple question, so I can determine whether ‘libertarianism’ is a flag of convenience for you to push other agendas.

        “As a libertarian, do you support the total repeal of all discrimination legislation and all hate speech legislation?”

        ?

        • If the speech in question is an incitement to violence, murder etc., no I don’t support its repeal. No libertarian caring for the liberty of all would.

          If however it is speech saying that this or that is “sinful” etc, no, I don’t. Rational argument usually gets such people to shut up, or at least swings the undecided toward the rational. In any case, there is a basic freedom to have ones own opinion.

          With regards to discrimination legislation, do I truly think our country is a better place for banning companies from telling people they won’t accept ethnic minority customers? Yes, yes I do.

          Hardly the pinnacle of statism, is it?

          I notice however you haven’t answer my points about UKIP’s professed libertarianism, or any of my points regarding their policies.

          You may now explode in self-righteous fury.

          • The point is FCR, that you pose as a libertarian activist, but you have shown as I suspected that do not want libertarianism. It’s is just an affectation for the sake of what you are more interested in, in this case, fake marriage and probably behind this, a more general gay libertarianism.

            Positive-egalitarianism is almost always directly opposed to libertarianism. You clearly demonstrate you are just a liberal progressive by failing to criticise the restriction on the freedom of others (regardless of irrelevant more general moral questions) to unequivocally speak and act as they see fit.

            You are not therefore an honest broker and reason is secondary to your purpose. That’s why I wished to ask the question before bothering to have a reasoned conversation with someone uninterested in reason..

  3. I’m a UKIP member and a gay man, UKIP managed to get itself into a very difficult position in my eyes over SSM and was completely unnecessary. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing those homophobic disenfranchised Tories leaving the party. No party really wants those sorts of people as members anyway. (We all know the ones, those that claimed that the next step was incest, bestiality and polygamy). UKIP needs to move on and listen to the youth of its party more. That’s where the growth will come from, not from the blue rinse brigade of the Church of England’s ever dwindling pews

    • “UKIP needs to move on and listen to the youth of its party more.”

      It does, and yet it doesn’t. I’m in my 20s, but the youth wing of the party seem rather silly to me. Chatting about necrophilia and re-legalising guns? I mean, come on.

      You’re completely right about the homophobic disenfranchised Tories, though. Many Tories were horrified at the reaction of the dinosaurs within their Party. Horrified, saddened and disgusted. And I read more than a few of them say online that they’d just wish the social fossils would sod off so the Party had a chance for survival.

      If UKIP wishes to be known as a social-regressive party, I just wish it’d make things easier for voters like me, and ditch the pretensions of being libertarian. They’re obviously not… though let’s see: maybe they’ll come to their senses in time for 2015. Yet somehow, I doubt it. I get the feeling you will continue to find yourself in a very difficult position.

      • I don’t really feel like I’m in a difficult position though – after all it is not me that has to argue a position contrary to the popular opinion of the majority of the British public. Its a waiting game that’s all – within 10 years the dinosaurs of the party will begin to die out… growth will come from the youth.

  4. Opposition to SSM was a foolish move by UKIP, and it put the party firmly on the wrong side of history. I’m a UKIP member, and also gay, and am feeling a lot less positive about the party now than I did before they stridently opposed SSM.
    The leadership position wasn’t too bad, but some of the party members wrote dreadful homophobic things on newspapers like the Telegraph comments section, and that does a lot of damage.

  5. UKIP opposing same-sex marriage was one of the worst decisions it ever made, and completely turned THIS voter off.

    UKIP MUST remember that extreme social-conservatism or social-regressivism is by no means the most common position held by the British – we’re a generally laissez-faire bunch and we only tend to react negatively to an idea when it’s clear that people will come to genuine harm.

    The legalisation of same-sex marriage most clearly does NOT fall into that category of harmful policy, and it was heart-warming to see so many people react with nonchalance or opposition when invited to oppose the policy by those arguing against it on religious grounds. It really does seem like we as a country have changed for the better.

    UKIP must learn that what the man in the pub says (bear in mind pub visitor numbers are falling anyway, so such people are getting less and less representative anyway :P) is not representative of the country. It was laughable when Farage mentioned all those folk in his Kentish village pub opposing it (home counties inhabitant, ultra rural, visiting a pub – now THERE’s a minority).

    UKIP, do yourselves a favour: stop chasing the Tory hard Right. You’ll get nowhere.

    Develop a platform that is moderate, electable and libertarian: socially tolerant, economically liberal, fiscally conservative and civic-conservative (encouraging local communities to work better together etc).

    We don’t need, nor want, a party that tries to be like the US Republicans.

    I was appalled to read on the Young Independence FB group a conversation about legalising guns. Whereas often youth wings help to give the “older generations” in the party a clue as to what the wider country is thinking, YI seems to be egging the Party to new levels of nuttiness.

    I could go on… but won’t. 🙂

  6. No doubt we’ll lose some disenfranchised Tories, but we will throw open the door for reconnecting our roots with the youth and the socially-centrist but economically aspirational we so shamelessly dropped when we opposed SSM and the fallout from that.

    Very pleased with this.

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