As UKIP gains favor, LGBT community in UK become wary

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The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) is well known for its anti-gay members and policies.

For example, in April 2012, it was reported that a UKIP 2010 parliamentary candidate, Dr. Julia Gasper, suggested that gay people should stop complaining and start thanking straight people for giving birth to them.

Gasper also believes that homosexuality is a choice and suggested a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. She claimed that gays only account for 3 percent of the population but are the perpetrators in 50 percent of child abuse. (More reputable sources, such as UC Davis, disagree.)

In May 2012, only days after Gasper’s anti-gay rant, news surfaced after a UKIP official posted a photo to Twitter showing a man burning a photograph of openly gay Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick.

UKIP defended their actions, claiming the photograph was burned as a reaction to Paddick as a politician rather than as a gay man.

In the run up to Christmas 2013, before the 2014 European elections, Pink News conducted two polls amongst LGBT voters and Pink News readers.

The first poll included 945 Pink News readers, whilst the other included 724 LGBT voters, tracked down since the 2010 general election.

Since the 2010 election, the polls found that support for the Conservative Party has risen in the LGBT community from 11 percent to 30 percent. On the other hand, Liberal Democrat support has decreased from 38 percent to fourteen percent. Lastly, support for the Labour Party has risen from 26 percent to 38 percent.

However, when it came to UKIP, considered by some to be the country’s most worrisome political party, 60 percent of LGBT voters stated they are “concerned or worried” about the party’s impact on LGBT rights, compared to just 22 percent who named the equally conservative British National Party (BNP).

The head of the UKIP, Nigel Farage, was named the least respected political party leader by 80 percent of the panel.

Apart from the BNP, UKIP is the only other party opposed to marriage equality within their official party policy.

429Magazine

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