Charities representing lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people have criticised UKIP for being the only one of the seven main political parties to not mention gay people in its manifesto.
As politicians come under increasing pressure to tackle issues facing the LGBT community, Ukip’s track record has been marred by a string of embarrassing gaffes.
Despite not mentioning homosexuality, the party did affirm its opposition to giving an inclusive relationship education to primary school pupils – claiming it would “encourage experimentation”.
A party spokesperson told the Independent: “UKIP believe absolutely in equality, and as such have produced a manifesto for all, rather than driven by the needs of differing special interest groups.
“We believe that amongst other things properly funded healthcare, that lower taxes, that a decent defence and political freedom from the European Union are things that are good for all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. It is a message of equality and universality.”
However, the party has been condemned for the glaring omission.
Alistair Stewart of the Kaleidoscope Trust said it was “disappointing, if not surprising”.
He added: “The absence of any reference to the LGBT community really stands them out compared to almost all other parties, who have flagged their commitment to supporting LGBT voters.”
Stonewall said: “It’s extremely disappointing that UKIP has failed to recognise or agree to help tackle issues affecting the way certain groups of people can live freely as themselves without fear of persecution or discrimination.
“We’re at an extremely important point in the LGBT movement where, if we have any hope of achieving this, complacency is not an option.”
At which point (and please do note, I have no official position of any kind within Ukip and am a supporter and have been an employee and candidate) you can all just fuck off.
Of our current selection of MEPs one is openly gay (I’ve worked with him and his partner, good blokes) making our gay representation something like 5x that of the general population. When I worked for the party we all worked damn hard (and celebrated when we succeeded) to get our transgender lesbian into that same Parliament. Another of my colleagues was the Gay Officer for his student union.
We don’t mention these things as politics because we simply don’t think they’re the stuff of politics. Sex and sexuality is something for consenting adults to decide upon, not the province of either politics or a political party.
Another way of making this same point is that given that we actually walk the walk we see no reason at all to bleat about talking the talk. We’ve gone well past the stage of needing to do that.