UKIP: If the UK leaves Europe, we might back gay marriage

UK's Euro-sceptic party says despite the quadruple lock protecting religious groups from being told to conduct same-sex marriages, the safeguards are not strong enough

UKIP: If the UK leaves Europe, we might back gay marriage
14 May 2013

The UK Independence Party has said it may back full gay marriage – but only if Britain pulled out of the European Court of Human Rights.

Unlike the three main political parties, UKIP is against the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government’s current plans for same-sex marriage.

Despite a quadruple legal lock protecting religious groups from being told to conduct marriages for gay couples, the right-wing political party led by Nigel Farage has said the safeguards are not strong enough.

But if Britain was to exist as an independent state and outside the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights, then no gay couple would be able to challenge the marriage bill’s legal locks.

Speaking to Gay Star News, a senior UKIP spokesman said: ‘If we find ourselves outside of the legislation of the European Court of Human Rights, we may have a different opinion [on same-sex marriage].

‘It matters to some people enormously, but we just don’t think these safeguards are strong enough. Legal advice is saying they’re not. We’re erring on the side of caution.’

While UKIP state their policy for gay rights is ‘full equality before the law’, they said they have to respect the wishes of faith groups who do not want to marry gay people. They added civil partnerships should have the same rights for everyone.

When asked if ‘separate but equal is truly equal’, they said: ‘I recognize the argument, but our position is not in some ways about gay marriage, it’s all about those faith groups who wish to not perform gay marriages.

‘I recognize there are a lot of people who are for gay marriage, but there are also a lot of gay people who don’t want to get married. There is a broad picture in the gay community.

‘But by the by, we feel the rights and wishes of faith groups are also important.

‘Whilst the government has recognized that in the legislation, the ban on the Church of England is just odd.’

Richard Lane, the External Affairs Officer from gay rights charity Stonewall, told GSN: ‘The Church of England has stated clearly that protections contained within the bill for religious organizations are robust so UKIP’s comments appear to be little more than scaremongering.

‘YouGov polling clearly shows that over 90% of gay people support the government’s plans.

‘UKIP should think long and hard about how they intend to appeal to Britain’s 3.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual people at the next General Election.’

UKIP’s comments follow controversial Conservative politician Nadine Dorries who said she would support equal marriage only when the UK has left the European Convention of Human Rights.

‘I don’t believe compromising the religious freedoms of others in order to benefit another group is progressive politics,’ she told the Huffington Post.

‘If David Cameron says we’re going to leave the ECHR and bring in gay marriage, I’ll vote for it.’

The bill aiming to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales returns to the House of Commons for the third reading on 20 May.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Video of 'beaten and raped' gay man in Russia surfaces online

Clips of anti-gay attack appear on social media tool WhatsApp
No thumbnail available

UN condemns gay and trans killings with new draft resolution

For the first time, the United Nations acknowledges a need for protections from executions on the basis of gender identity.  
No thumbnail available

Lithuania is weeding out new army recruits by asking if they like flowers

Military service and the art of flower arranging apparently don't mix
No thumbnail available

Meet the man ready to become Turkey's first gay mayor

Gay Star News speaks to Turkey's first openly gay mayoral candidate Can Çavuşoğlu to learn about the 43-year-old's motivations, campaign platforms and chances at winning the mayoral seat
No thumbnail available

Two gay men killed by hanging in Iran

Two men are believed to have been put to death for 'consensual sodomy'. One source indicates the two men were put to death in order to ‘promote community safety’
No thumbnail available

Law banning anti-LGBTI discrimination passes in Wyoming town where Matthew Shepard was murdered

Shepard's mother is 'thrilled that Laramie’s doing it, at the same time sort of saddened that the state of Wyoming can’t see fit to do that as well'
No thumbnail available

New Zealand wins Mr Gay World title

German born Andreas Derleth wins the global gay male beauty and intellect pageant in South Africa
No thumbnail available

After 17 years at Catholic school in California, gay teacher is fired for marrying his partner

More than 10,000 people have signed petition to have Ken Bencomo reinstated
No thumbnail available

Lords bill may pardon gay computer hero Alan Turing

New legislation may give the late Alan Turing, the mathematician which helped the Allies win World War II, a pardon for his gay sex conviction
No thumbnail available

Bridegroom and Call Me Kuchu tie for documentary prize at GLAAD Media Awards

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o presents awards to winners who deliver emotionally rich acceptance speeches