UKIP Offers Protection for Gay Marriage Opponents in ‘Christian Manifesto’

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

UKIP has pledged legal protection for workers who refuse to condone sex-same marriage.

In its “Christian manifesto” the party said it would introduce a conscience clause to give “reasonable accommodation” to those “expressing a religious conscience in the workplace on this issue”.

The pledge comes amid the furore over a Christian-owned bakery in Northern Ireland that was taken to court after it refused to make a cake featuring Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie with the slogan “support gay marriage”.

Although UKIP criticises the “rushed” and “significantly flawed” legislation that created gay marriage in England and Wales, it adds that it will not repeal it as “it would be grossly unfair and unethical to ‘un-marry’ loving couples and restrict further marriages”.

In a document designed to win over Christian voters, who Nigel Farage says are ignored by the other parties, UKIP also pledges not to legalise euthanasia and says it will “encourage compliance with the Abortion Act 1967 and seek to make gender abortions illegal”.

In terms of education, the party backs faith schools, although it says they must be “open to the whole community”, “uphold British values”, and must not “discriminate against any section of society.” It will also outlaw sex education lessons for primary school children.

In a foreword to the manifesto, Nigel Farage writes: “Christianity plays a significant part in my vision for the future of Britain.

“I have been saying for a long time that we need a much more muscular defence of our Christian heritage and our Christian Constitution.”

A spokesman for anti-gay marriage group Coalition for Marriage told the Telegraph: “We welcome this move and urge other political parties to follow his brave and common-sense approach.

“It can’t be right that ordinary people with traditional beliefs are being persecuted and hounded out of jobs because of the liberal orthodoxy in Westminster.”