Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), has said that his party would not abolish gay marriage if it ever came to power. Breitbart London understands the decision was made at the UKIP policy committee after a protracted debate in which one member said that the party should not “pick a scab when its healing”.
The policy committee were said to be concerned that the party risked being ‘bogged down’ in a vote losing effort to reverse the law allowing gay people to marry.
In an interview for Pink News, Mr Farage was asked: “If UKIP won a general election, would it seek to overturn the marriages of the tens of thousands of same-sex couples who will be married by May 2015?” he simply replied “no”.
He then went on to defend the rights of party members and those with religious views to oppose gay marriage, as long as they do it in a civil manner.
Farage said: “My views are based on the destruction of protections for organisations or people who may oppose gay marriage based on religious or deeply personal reasons. The entitlement to independent religious views will end up worth a bean in the light of our legal subservience to the ECHR.
“Whether or not you may agree with a position, it does not mean someone is not permitted to hold it. Our party policy is the same. In fact we propose an augmentation of the civil partnership awarding it equal status to marriage and enabling it to be available to all. We would rather the legal and religious endorsements of wedlock are separate.”
Ben Harris-Quinney, Chairman of the Bow Group, said: “Like many opponents of the SSM Bill, UKIP realises that it was a poor bill that was poorly handled politically by David Cameron, but that reform around the state’s role in marriage remains relevant.
“There is a growing movement and consensus among conservatives and libertarians in the UK and abroad to see the state now rescind it’s involvement in marriage, and to simply act as a contract guarantor. How people choose to unionise other than by legal contract will then be up to them and the relevant institution or venue.”
“Therefore rather than taking the simplistic approach to reverse the Same Sex Marriage Bill, Farage is looking ahead and saying that he would reform the way the state deals with marriage altogether, and I think that is a direction all conservatives will eventually take.
Farage is likely to have given the interview to a specialist publication in order to avoid drawing attention to the U-Turn.