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.
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thing – it seems that they have accepted that the law has passed, and does not see it fit that such a law should be repealed.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.