London Pride discrimination against UKIP LGBT members based on political ideology
The Pride March in London this year has been overshadowed by the organisers’ decision to ban the UKIP LGBT group from parading, after initially including them. This has caused uproar amongst even some in the LGBT community – namely those with no political axe to grind, those who believe in true equality and those who see the event as a celebration of diversity, a call for inclusion and a general raising of awareness among the population to support those who have been discriminated against for so long in the past.
Pride organisers and some of their more ‘famous’ supporters and activists have been taking to Twitter to explain their actions and to defend their ban against the UKIP LGBT group, but they seem to have a very thinly-veiled bigotry, not seen before within the LGBT community (or at least not so openly).
The official line on why the decision to include UKIP LGBT is that the organisers were worried about the safety of the event in light of some non-specified threats they received, on Social Media of all places – the medium most responsible for threats of all kinds, given it is a home to many trolls and an outlet for the saddest people in our society who get a free hand to spread hate and discrimination in equal measures.
“For this year we have reached the decision that UKIP’s application to join the Pride in London Parade, 27th June 2015, will be turned down. This decision has been made after careful consultation in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit, it has not been made on a political basis. We appreciate many in our community have strongly held views about UKIP, their policies and comments, but is undeniable that there are LGBT+ members of UKIP, including their MEP for Scotland, and it is important to remember that Pride in London aims to be an inclusive event. However, of paramount concern to us is the experience of all participants at Pride, most especially the position we would be putting our volunteer stewards in.”
So, going by their own statement, it is nothing to do with the political view of UKIP – even though they do agree that they have many members who disagree with some views held by UKIP – it is merely the safety of their stewards and those attending the parade that is their priority.
I take issue with this, mainly because there has been no official reporting of threats (or they’d have made that known, let’s face it), there has been no attempt to quantify these threats and there seems to be some confusion amongst the Twitterati as to what UKIP represents, suggesting someone is feeding the mob the usual ‘racists’ and ‘anti-LGBT’ rhetoric.
Let’s take Mr Peter Tatchell for an example. Peter is a very well publicised LGBT rights activist, appearing as the media face of many groups, advocating Equality and Fairness for all those he purports to represent. He has been involved with organising London Pride for many years.
This decision seemed to even irk Peter initially, until he decided to change his mind and close ranks with the London Pride organisers. Peter’s position, however, does seem to go through a change over a few days – he was a little concerned initially, but now he is very definite with his attempts to justify UKIP’s unjust exclusion.
His full statement as it stands, now that he has agreed with the ban, is published in yesterday’s London Evening Standard. Peter’s excuse for the exclusion now is that he thinks UKIP are a party who are anti-LGBT, ignoring the fact that they have upwards of 40,000 LGBT Members.
Let’s take a look at some of his Twitter comments over the past few days:
Peter even seems to compare UKIP to the Nazi’s and KKK, which is a little heavy by anyone’s standard. This reference would suggest that UKIP LGBT are excluded, not because of safety concerns, but because they are seen as a Right-Wing Political Party, though certainly not as far to the right as Peter would try to suggest on Twitter – or at least nearly 4 million UK citizens thought so anyway.
I queried Peter on the Nazi/KKK reference, suggesting it was a poorly veiled attempt to smear UKIP, but he shrugged it off as having nothing to do with the UKIP situation. I’m not convinced of that, it seemed a strange comment given the current argument.
I fail to see how UKIP themselves are anti-LGBT, when they have so many LGBT members, a specific LGBT grouping within the party and they have supported Equality publicly since they grew into a mainstream political party and stood for Parliament. Certainly they lean towards less of the militancy-led LGBT stance, a stance which might have seen a sensible attitude towards Ashers Bakery, giving them the benefit of the doubt rather than trying to destroy their business so publicly.
I also sense some references throughout Twitter to UKIP being promoters of racism – which again I fail to see. Peter Tatchell vaguely compares them to the Nazi’s or the KKK on Twitter, but what fuels this type of generalisation and obvious distortion from the truth? I can only conclude it is Peter’s own bias, his own left-wing ideology and his obvious hypocrisy which makes him publicly smear an official political party, simply because he disagrees with it.
UKIP have had their problems with rogue individual members (something ALL parties have), but I notice they are very quick to expel such people, distancing themselves from any rogue or extreme views very decisively. Maybe, if Peter Tatchell had done similar when he was considering the London Pride decision initially, he could garner more respect for his discriminatory and obviously bigoted stance.
Peter was obviously not convinced with the ‘safety’ argument, he chose to make it public that UKIP themselves were the problem.
Have I misjudged you all this time Peter? I hope not, it would be disappointing.
The hypocrisy and Ashers Bakery
Ashers Bakery were vilified by the LGBT activists and taken to court (with support totalling £33,000 approximately from the Equalities Commission in Northern Ireland), resulting in a conviction for discriminating against Mr Gareth Lee over a cake he wished to have baked.
This cake displayed a ‘Support Same Sex Marriage’ slogan, along with an unlicensed ‘Bert and Ernie’ image. The owners of Ashers Bakery are devout Christians and felt the message was against their belief, so decided to refuse the order after initially accepting it at the first counter contact.
Ashers argued that they did not discriminate against Mr Lee himself for being a Gay man, having served him many times previously, but that they could not promote something they disagreed with, something which is currently illegal in Northern Ireland, namely the message of the cake.
Ashers have had seriously adverse publicity and a large proportion of the LGBT community has been very critical of them, making no allowance for their reason with regards to the message or their strong religious views, and certainly giving no thought to the potential damage their business may suffer.
A simple view, giving Ashers the benefit of the doubt in this situation, might have gone a long way to encouraging support for the LGBT cause.
Now we see the London Pride organisers discriminate against UKIP LGBT members solely because they are UKIP members – it can be nothing else, since no other grouping has been excluded. They say it’s not the LGBT members of UKIP themselves they take issue with, but the Party and their opinion of what UKIP actually stands for.
That Mr Tatchell or London Pride cannot see the hypocrisy here is testament to their lack of inclusiveness, their own bigotry and their obvious left-wing political agenda. Equality, it seems, is a selective thing – selected by those who demand complete and total capitulation by anyone else.
Can I not see it from London Pride’s view?
Absolutely not. I’ve tried to see why they would do such an obviously divisive thing with this ban – but all I can see is a scramble to cover up the fact that they discriminated against UKIP LGBT members simply because of their affiliation with UKIP, suggesting an underlying political affiliation within the ‘leaders’ of the LGBT ‘movement’.
I cannot believe the ‘safety’ reasoning. I would assume there are those in our society who strongly oppose LGBT rights and they may have designs on disrupting such a large event – but who would have taken such issue regarding the inclusion of UKIP LGBT in the parade, other than left-wing extremists, the kind we have seen promote and support violence since they lost the General Election in May 2015?
The problem with such left-wing activists is that they are called out onto the streets and openly supported by such people as Owen Jones, Peter Tatchell, etc. – people who plead the case for Equality, but who seem to think Equality is something THEY own, not something that should be applied fairly and equally, across the board.
The problem with Peter and people like him, those who call loudest for Equality, Human Rights, etc., is that they then think they have sole right to use the words, they have some sort of transcendence which makes them decide who and where Equality is applied to. This exclusivity is what causes division in our society, which causes mistrust of the very organisations he would wish us all to accept and offer support to.
It is this blatant hypocrisy which puts heterosexual people such as myself right off, removing any support we might have had for the LGBT cause, and for the rights of those who may not comply with what we were taught in a less-than-equal upbringing.
So what now?
Live and let live, I suppose that is my view. I see no reason to offer any opposition to something offering hope to people that they might be treated equally, in an age when we seem to have woken up to the unnecessary inequalities around the world.
This view is one I’d have applied to those who support the LGBT cause, the Pride parades, etc. – but not now. Now I see the tainted organisers as a branch of a political movement, reserving LGBT views as something only those on the left-wing of society can hold. This blatant hypocrisy has put me right off offering any support to anything to do with the LGBT community.
I penned two articles recently:
- Ireland and the Same Sex Marriage Referendum – where I congratulated the Irish people and tried to make people aware of how momentous a decision this was for them.
- Northern Ireland and Same Sex Marriage – where I called on the NI Assembly to offer a referendum, since they allow religious bigotry to oppose equality.
I actually feel I was misled by the LGBT populous, the demand for Equality is not their priority. How can it be when political ideology clouds the judgement of the mainstream organisers of such a movement?
Well done Peter Tatchell and London Pride, you have set the LGBT cause back 20 years with your rank hypocrisy and completely rubbish attempts to smear an opposing political party (opposing nobody but yourselves btw, your own left-wing political agenda) and at the same time veiling your personal political agenda under the LGBT cause.
I had a lot of respect for Peter Tatchell, seeing him as someone who championed the cause of Equality. In some cases I may have differed from his view, but he did appear to apply himself with a fair hand. I have watched him on TV media & read his prose many times and whilst we would definitely be from differing political perspectives, I felt he was a strong character and one I admired for his efforts to promote (what I thought was TRUE) Equality.
I have grudgingly lost a lot of that respect as he scrambles to appease the London Pride organisers and their left-wing political agenda.
London Pride, can I suggest a rebrand for next year to London Shame, seems more fitting?
Note – to those on Twitter who think this argument gives you an excuse to troll and/or abuse Peter or anyone else involved in the conversation – nobody wants your input, you detract from a serious debate and abuse is no way for anyone to behave.