The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has been officially banned from attending this year’s Gay Pride Parade in London, following a U-turn from event organisers.
The party’s LGBT* group, as well as the youth wing Young Independence had initially intended to send representatives to take part in the Pride march in London.
But following a campaign against the party by political groups and full-time, left-wing LGBT activists, it appears that the organisers have caved.
The latest person to come out against UKIP’s attendance is long-time LGBT campaign and presumed free-speech activist Peter Tatchell, who dictated today that it was “not appropriate” for either homosexual or straight members of UKIP to attend the march.
A statement from the event organisers reads: “For this year we have reached the decision that UKIP’s application to join the Pride in London Parade, 27th June 2015, will be turned down.
“This decision has been made after careful consultation in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit, it has not been made on a political basis.
“We appreciate many in our community have strongly held views about UKIP, their policies and comments, but is undeniable that there are LGBT+ members of UKIP, including their MEP for Scotland, and it is important to remember that Pride in London aims to be an inclusive event.
“However, of paramount concern to us is the experience of all participants at Pride, most especially the position we would be putting our volunteer stewards in.”
The MEP in question is Mr David Coburn, a gay man himself, though one who doesn’t subscribe to political correctness about the subject, or any others.
The organisers have claimed that they will be ‘turning down’ UKIP’s application, though Breitbart London understands that the application had already been accepted, and that this development is an about-face by the Pride organisers, after political lobbying and a campaign against the party.
The organisers may now face a challenge from UKIP, who could argue that the move breaches a contract the organisers have to run the event. A note on their website reads: “Within this contract we pledged to create a world-class, diverse and inclusive event that provides a platform for the LGBT+ community to celebrate and campaign; and raise money to assist charities and organisations that safeguard and promote the welfare and rights of the LGBT+ community.” Excluding UKIP may fall foul of their responsibilities towards diversity and inclusivity.
One LGBT member told Breitbart London: “Once again the LGBT lobby have said it’s great to be gay, but only if you have the right kind of views and are the right kind of gay. This is a sad day, but I hope it’ll bolster LGBT* in UKIP, help us to become more radical, and to be a home for LGBT people who do not feel they belong on the left”.
UPDATE – An Official UKIP Statement:
Flo Lewis, the Chair of LGBT* in UKIP said, “The Board of London Pride 2015 have not decided to reject our application. Instead they have decided to rescind the invitation under threats from and complaints by other members of the LGBT* community.
“We should, I think, be very sorry that this decision has been made, equally we are sorry that the organising committee and Board of London Pride 2015 has been put under the sort of pressure it has over the past few days.
“All people, regardless of creed, colour or sexual orientation, can find a home in UKIP. It is a sad day for diversity and freedom when these people are prohibited from expressing themselves as part of the wider community”.