UK’s right-leaning party doubles down on opposition to gay ‘marriage’ after appearing to backtrack
LONDON, March 19, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The leader of the UK’s right-leaning party denied making comments attributed to him in an article by a homosexualist news agency in which he allegedly said his party would not campaign to overturn same-sex “marriage” in the general election next year.
According to PinkNews, Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), also said his party would remove the legal status of Christian weddings, requiring believers to attend both a religious and civil ceremony.
But in a statement posted to UKIP’s website Wednesday, Farage denies making the remarks.
“The statement attributed to me yesterday was not made by me and not approved by me. It was a draft by a staff member that should never have been sent out,” he explained.
The remarks attributed to Farage by the PinkNews article had shocked many because UKIP campaigned strongly against same-sex “marriage” and won support on the issue.
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In his statement Wednesday, Farage explained why his party has opposed same-sex “marriage,” but did not comment on whether they would make it an election issue next year. He said the party’s opposition has been “two-fold.”
"First, we did not think it should have been made a political priority at a time of many other pressing issues and pointed out that the measure had no mandate from the electorate,” he explained. “Secondly we were concerned that because of the role of the European Court of Human Rights in British law that faith communities which had strong objections were at risk of being forced to conduct gay marriages.”
“There is an ongoing debate within UKIP about how we can protect faith communities from ultimately being compelled to conduct same sex marriages against their beliefs and their will,” he continued. “We note that some gay rights activists are already talking about taking legal action in Strasbourg to force this issue.”
According to the PinkNews article, Farage had also said that homosexual and ‘transgender’ people are welcome to join UKIP.
Asked whether his party had a problem with homosexuals, the paper reported him saying, "There may be that perception, but we have absolutely no problem with anybody, whatever group or community they come from, unless they have openly and evidently unpalatable views.”
"We now have a series of high profile LGBT members, and have in the past had LGBT members elected to various roles,” PinkNews reported him saying. “We hope that this continues and the LGBT community at large comes to understand that we are open to everyone."