Sunday, 7 June 2015

LGBT* in Ukip and Pride

There is a lot of hot debate going on at the moment about the decision of Pride London to reject LGBT* in UKIP application to march as a group this month in the parade. The Board of Pride London are citing "secuirty issues" as the reason for this rejection, something Peter Tatchell calls a "cop-out" which seems somewhat ironic as the same man had called for UKIP's exclusion mere days earlier.

Tatchell himself is appearing confused in his stance to LGBT* in Ukip's participation and I suspect that London Prides talk of direct action against the parade if they allowed the Ukip group to take part have led to similar confusion within LGBTory, LGBT Labour, LGBT+ Lib Dems and LGBTIQ Greens from taking an official position are they are not aware of the facts that Pride are stating are the security issues. With rumours of BME or immigrant groups threatening the action it is uncertain where the facts lie.

Therefore this is my personal opinion and not in any other capacity.

I think LGBT* within UKIP should be allowed to march in the London Pride Parade.

As for security fears when Pride first started out there were always security fears. In Eastern Europe and Africa there still are when a Pride march takes place. So in that that essence Peter Tatchell is right, it is a cop-out.

However, unlike Tatchell and others I do not think we should tar the LGBT+ representative group within any political party or organisation with the expressed view of the majority within that organisation. After all we have faith groups that are working hard within their groups who oppose same-sex marriage, actively campaign against it and all LGBT+ equality measures. These were all reason that Tatchell noted in his reasons to ban LGBT* within UKIP from marching.

I'm not sure when the predecessors of LGBTory, TORCHE (Tory Campaign for Homosexual Equality) or CGHE (Conservative Group for Homosexual Equality) first marched in London Pride but I suspect that it was probably during the time that the party policy was in favour of Section 28 and opposed to civil unions for LGBT people and other LGBT equality measures that are now in place. There were probably also concerns of how others within LGBT+ circles would react to the Conservatives marching in their midst at that time.

I would be ashamed if the security measures were a smokescreen from the Board of London Pride to give in the bullying tactics of some within the LGBT community to petition against the inclusion of LGBT* within UKIP from participating, and that includes high profile opponents to their participation like Tatchell. I would also be ashamed if any LGBT group threatens the safety of Pride because other LGBT people and supportive friends are participating because they disagree with the certain aspects of the politics of the group then shame on them.

I would love there to be an LGBT unionist presence at a Belfast Pride soon. Currently all three of the unionist parties in Northern Ireland with MLAs DUP, UUP and TUV have fair from exemplary LGBT voting records but there are unionist party members and supporters who are LGBT are lobbying those MLAs to change just as LGBT* within UKIP are doing to those politicians and candidates in their own party who are far from LGBT supportive and even overtly anti-LGBT. The LGBT and Pride community should be supporting such groups seeking change not excluding them from our parade.

1 comment:

  1. Agree it was entirely wrong to ban UKIP participation in Pride; although I dislike UKIP personally It seems highly counter-productive to punish their LGBTI members or supporters in this way, rather their presence should be welcomed.