Pride in London: We won’t discriminate against UKIP by banning them from marching
Pride in London has insisted it will allow a group from the UK Independence Party to march, despite criticism over the party’s gay rights record.
The official line-up released by Pride in London revealed that UKIP LGBT+ will take part in this summer’s parade, on Saturday 27 June.
The party has never before applied to march officially, and the move has generated some controversy due to the party’s stance on LGBT rights issues.
UKIP was the only UK-wide parties to pledge an anti-LGBT policy at the election, with the party’s Christian Manifesto – which was not released to the press – calling for a ‘conscience’ law to weaken equality legislation, and accommodate the beliefs of people who oppose gay rights.
A petition called for the party to be blocked from marching over “nherently homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, racist and misogynistic” views – but Pride in London has dismissed calls to block the party from marching.
A Pride in London spokesperson told PinkNews: “Pride in London is inclusive of all LGBT+ groups, including political groups and – as with all entrants – they must sign and comply with our code of conduct.
“We provide a platform for every part of the LGBT+ community and respect the principles of free speech. We do not discriminate against people based on their political affiliation, and all political parties taking part in the Parade will be positioned together in the same section.
“However, Pride in London will continue to monitor community reaction and include the Community Advisory Board in this conversation.”
Despite the statement, an email leaked to PinkNews shows that Pride in London are worried about the “growing concern” at UKIP’s involvement.
Writing to the organiser of the group, a member of Pride in London staff said: “We have a growing number of people who are anti the UKIP LGBT+ group being part of the Parade (I know, being discriminating but that’s the lovely general public for you) and hoped you could issue a statement to us please saying that you don’t agree with your parties view on the LGBT+ community etc.
“Also, could you post the same statement on your Facebook group please?”
The UKIP group will be marching in the same block as HIV charity Positively UK – despite Nigel Farage coming under intense scrutiny for making claims about HIV during the election campaign. He claimed during the BBC leadership debate that the UK is now “incapable” of treating Britons with HIV.
Pride in London already blocks branches of far-right parties including the BNP and EDL.
Some have joked about the party’s positioning on the alphabetised list – right next to the UK Gay & Lesbian Immigration Group.
Farage was accused of “ducking” gay rights issues by pulling out of a planned Q&A with PinkNews ahead of the election, making him the only party leader to not take part.
David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Natalie Bennett and Nicola Sturgeon all answered questions from PinkNews readers – but Mr Farage refused to do so.
PinkNews has reached out to Pride in London and UKIP LGBT+ for comment.
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