London’s Gay Pride Parade has updated the application process for their future events, banning perceive “homophobic” groups. Activists fear mainstream political parties like the UK Independence Party (UKIP) will be excluded from the gay rights celebration indefinitely after the unexpected and unexplained banning of a UKIP group from last year’s march.
The deputy leader of UKIP’s youth wing has stuck back, arguing that left wing gay establishment is wrong to view UKIP’s opposition to political correctness and respect for traditional values as “homophobic”.
Last year’s ban came about following a campaign by political groups and activists who lobbied the organisers and set up an online petition accusing UKIP of “homophobia and transphobia”. When the Pride organisers caved, they argued that the ban was needed for “safety” reason and had “not been made on a political basis.”
Just weeks later, however, at a meeting of the Independent Community Advisory Board (CAB) of Pride in London, it was decided that new rules were needed.
All groups will now be required to sign an affirmation confirming they are not guilty of any “ism” or “obia” and are “taking part in Pride in London in the spirit of collaboration and mutual support to help promote and further the cause of LGBT+ liberation and campaign for equality for all”.
By signing it, they must also “understand” that they could be “excluded” if “Official statements from the group, its leaders or representatives (including those of a parent organisation) that are homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, sexist, disablist, racist or in any other way discriminatory in intent or impact”.
One of the organisers of Pride in London, Michael Salter-Church MBE, said the new affirmation would keep the event “inclusive” and would “managing disagreements in an open and transparent way.”
However, UKIP Parliamentary candidate Richard Hendron, who led a contingent of UKIP LGBT members who flouted the ban in 2015, said that he feared the new rules would be used to once again exclude UKIP.
“Instead of advancing the common good, I fear that Pride in London will use their wide interpretation of the subjective affirmation, to exclude UKIP from Pride”, he told Pink News in a statement.
“My passionate plea to the organisers of Pride in London is to take note of your own statement, we will only succeed when we have in their words ‘collaboration and mutual support to help promote and further the cause of LGBT+ liberation’.
“It’s time to leave Left and Right politics aside, it’s time to stand together to tackle homophobia – what ever side of the political spectrum that may be”, he said.
Mr. Hendron also explained that UKIP “fully support the core and essence of the message running through the new ‘affirmation’” and “believes in respect, acceptance and inclusion regardless of race, ethnicity gender et al’”, just like other political parties.
However, UKIP have been very clear in that they do not subscribe to the mainstream view that women and gay people are victims, and unlike other parties, they have also sought to balance gay rights with those of Christians and conservatives.
“I have never been made to feel unwelcome in the party, nor have any of the gay ‘kippers I know been made to feel unwelcome”, explained Jamie McKenzie, the Deputy Chairman of Young Independence (UKIP’s Youth Wing) who is also gay.
Speaking to Breitbart London, he argued that UKIP’s stance against “political correctness”, according to which “certain perceived ‘oppressed’ groups should receive special treatment“, actually made the party more committed to equality than others.
“Since UKIP doesn’t subscribe to Political Correctness, it doesn’t discriminate against LGBT people, but nor does it believe or act in a way which treats them as special or deserving of token elevation above their merit. A person’s sexuality is treated as irrelevant as their colour or gender”, he said.
The party, it is worth noting, have a very active “LGBT” group and produced the first transgender Member of the European Parliament (MEP), and currently have a gay MEP for Scotland, and the only gay candidate for London Mayor.
After UKIP was barred from pride last year, Flo Lewis, the head of the UKIP LGBT group claimed that Pride had only “decided to rescind the invitation under threats from and complaints by other members of the LGBT* community.”
“…These people view other LGBT people with different views as ‘not really LGBT'”, said Mr. McKenzie. “Worse-still, they sometimes diagnose us as having ‘internalised homophobia’, as if we have some sort of sluggish mental disorder. They only wish to represent people who they believe have ‘the correct views'”, he said.
Mr. Mckenzie also explained how much of LGBT politics is animated by left-wing ideology: “Like feminism, the leftist LGBT lobby seeks to create an ‘oppressed’ grouping. In the tradition of Marxist-Leninism, this ‘oppressed’ group joins with ‘workers'”, he said.
This can be problematic for philosophically right wing gay people: “While most LGBT people reasonably wanted a reform of our laws and culture which afforded them respect and protection from discrimination and persecution, Peter Tatchell describes his movement as ‘revolutionary, not reformist’. UKIP must represent gay people that reject that”, he argued.
It is this rejection of mainstream left wing LGBT ideology, as well as support for traditional and family values, that has caused so many within the LGBT movement to try and sideline UKIP.
Pink News, for example, pointed to the fact that UKIP had pledged to create a “conscience clause” that would give Christians exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, such as allowing them not to host gay marriages in churches, as an example of their “anti-LGBT” policies.
Mr. McKenzie argued that such policies were “not necessarily homophobic but instead a continuation of the same tradition of protecting the conscience” that had given British people, including gay people, their individual freedoms in the first place.
“The same respect for conscience which UKIP wishes to grant to conservative Christians is the same respect which has led to LGBT people being as free as they are now”, he said.