Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
Ukip’s LGBT group chair, Thomas Booker, has resigned, telling Pink News that the party has failed to ‘set a gay-friendly tone.’
Announcing his resignation on Twitter, the 23 year old told supporters that ‘[he] found that couldn’t defend the party or convincingly campaign for it any more.’ He added that it had become increasingly difficult to argue for a ‘non-Classical Liberal manifesto.’
Ukip’s LGBT group later announced on Twitter that Flo Lewis would take over the role.
— LGBT* in UKIP (@ukiplgbt) February 24, 2015
Ukip faces an uphill struggle in recruiting LGBT voters and supporters, often due to comments made by its conservative members. In January 2014, David Silvester – the party’s councillor for Henley-upon-Thames – said that heavy flooding across England was because of the government’s plans to legalise gay marriage. The group told Silvester that his comments were ‘an unacceptable act for which you cannot be excused.’
The party’s only Scottish MEP, meanwhile, David Coburn, has claimed that same-sex marriage ‘makes a mockery of the holy sacrament of marriage’ and that it was ‘false bollocks’ which ‘quite a lot’ of gay people oppose. Talking to The Huffington Post, he said that gay marriage supporters are ‘equality Nazis trying to give Christianity a jolly good kicking’. He added that it ‘only matters to some queen who wants to dress up in a bridal frock and dance up the aisle to the Village People.’
Coburn insisted that Ukip was a ‘gay-friendly’ party, despite Ukip’s Commonwealth spokesman Winston McKenzie saying it was ‘not healthy’ for a child to be adopted by a gay couple.
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