UKIP's opposition to gay marriage is not for pragmatic reasons, but is based on outdated bigotry.
Nigel Farage has got himself into a spot of bother over his party’s stance on same-sex marriage.
First his party made an apparent U-turn over its earlier opposition to gay marriage when, during a question and answer session with Pink News, a statement attributed to Farage said that the party would not, after all, campaign to abolish same-sex marriage.
According to Pink News, the answers given during the online interview with Farage appeared to show that UKIP would be reviewing all of its policies – including its opposition to same-sex marriage.
A welcome development. Or at least so the readers of Pink News believed.
Soon after the interview was published, however, Farage issued a statement to say that the comments attributed to him were “not made by me and not approved by me”.
“It was a draft by a staff member that should never have been sent out, he added.
Farage went on to say that UKIP’s opposition to gay marriage was two fold:
“First, we did not think it should have been made a political priority at a time of many other pressing issues and pointed out that the measure had no mandate from the electorate.“Secondly we were concerned that because of the role of the European Court of Human Rights in British law that faith communities which had strong objections were at risk of being forced to conduct gay marriages.”
So on the one hand UKIP are opposed to gay marriage because it’s a bad time to focus on it (there are more important issues), and on the other hand because “faith communities” risk being “forced to conduct gay marriage”.
In other words, UKIP opposes gay marriage for practical rather than moral reasons (not that that’s OK or anything).
But someone ought perhaps to tell UKIP in Wales this, for their objections to gay marriage are rather different.
A same-sex marriage statement published on the UKIP Wales website today starts off on message, saying that “UKIP Wales wholeheartedly supports the UKIP policy regarding same sex marriage”. However the party also lets slip the real reason it is opposed to same-sex marriage – and it has nothing to do with faith communities or it being a bad time to focus on the issue.
No, UKIP are opposed to same-sex marriage, the UKIP Wales website states, because “marriage is between a man and a woman for the procreation of children”.
Well, at least we’ve cleared up that it has nothing to do with pragmatism and everything to do with outdated bigotry.
Don’t vote UKIP if you’re a gay couple and want to get married. Or a hetrosexual couple who want to marry but aren’t sure about children. That isn’t what marriage is for, after all.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.