LibLink: Sarah Ludford MEP: Despite their claim to be a libertarian party, UKIP have a shocking record on LGBT rights

Over at the Huffington Post, Sarah Ludford MEP has been looking at UKIP’s record on LGBT rights.

She first shows that they really don’t get it:

On the Ukip website, it states “As a libertarian party, we are entirely at ease with their (LGBTI community) choice and wish all of them well.” I question the appropriateness of this folksy language and the implication that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, particularly considering that LGBTI citizens continue to be the target of around 100 hate crimes per week. But even if it was well intentioned, why then do we consistently hear voices from within the party spouting homophobic comments? This week’s online response to a Ukip councillor’s claim that same-sex marriage was to blame for flooding, that has seen everything from parody shipping forecasts to the creation of the Ukip weather Twitter account, shows that UKIP’s hollow message on LGBTI rights is not fooling anyone.

She then gives 5 examples of how UKIP have failed to stand up for LGBT rights:

Indeed, shining a light on the voting record of Ukip in the European Parliament shows that the party has little concern for the LGBTI community. Here are just five examples of opportunities Ukip had to stand up for LGBTI rights where they shamefully failed to deliver:

• Proposal for equal property rights for all dual nationality couples, regardless of sexuality:Ukip voted against 
• New EU-Russia Agreement including promotion of LGBTI rights: Ukip voted against
• Report on Human rights including sexual orientation and gender identity: Ukip voted against
• Resolution calling for protection LGBTI rights in Lithuania and Russia: Ukip abstained
• New asylum rules including gender identity as a ground for persecution: Ukip abstained.

In contrast, the Liberal Democrat record is an awful lot better:

So while Ukip MEPs continue to ignore the injustices LGBTI citizens face, my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I will keep putting the promotion of LGBTI rights at the heart of our work in the European Parliament. As long as 55% of LGBTI young people at school in the UK continue to be bullied because of their sexuality, and as long as LGBTI citizens continue to be the target of hate and repression across Europe and the world, we must continue to speak out. Ultimately, standing up for equality is about more than a footnote on the back of a party manifesto leaflet or the promise of an interview with Pink news; it’s about taking action and demanding change.

You can read the whole article here.

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  • jenny barnes 26th Jan '14 - 9:38am

    Better not to read the comments after the article, though. Knuckle draggers were out in force.

  • Stuart Mitchell 26th Jan '14 - 10:24am

    LGBTI? I’ll have to go and look that one up. Has this replaced LGBT+?

  • UKIP is only libertarian if you’ve redefined the word libertarian to mean authoritarian.

  • I think you grossly misunderstand UKIPs position when it comes to voting in the EU ‘parliament’. It doesn’t matter if a proposal is good or bad or whether we think its a good idea or not (and in most cases on this issue they tend not to be legislative), UKIP vote against as the law being created at EU level isn’t democratic. That’s the principle behind how UKIP vote in the EP. Were any of this created in the UK parliament our voting would be very different on a wide range of issues (which may even surprise you). You guys think the EU is legitimate, well that’s fine and your MEPs vote for all these laws. UKIP doesn’t, so how can we be expected to vote for legislation that we believe (rightly or wrongly) is undemocratic and overriding our parliamentary democracy? Please try to understand the other side of the argument

  • Malcolm Todd 26th Jan '14 - 1:05pm

    Actually, do UKIP ever vote in favour of EU regulations or EU agreements with external nations?

    You see, there could be a perfectly good, principled reason for them to reject all of the listed proposals, which would be simply that they don’t think it’s any of the EU’s business and that they don’t want the EU making decisions that bind the UK, whether the decisions in principle are good or bad. (I’m not saying that is their rationale — I have little interest in UKIP and certainly don’t speak for them — just that it would be a respectable argument for voting against the EU proposals without being opposed to anyone’s rights.)

  • Malcolm Todd 26th Jan '14 - 1:08pm

    Stuart Mitchell 26th Jan ’14 – 10:24am
    LGBTI? I’ll have to go and look that one up. Has this replaced LGBT+?

    Quite. I’m guessing that “I” stands for “intersex”? But really, I think it’s time that the aggregate community of people who define themselves by their difference from heterosexual norms came up with a simple catch-all term that can be as inclusive as they want it to be without having to be rewritten every time somebody notices the existence of another category of people that might have a common interest…

  • jedibeeftrix 26th Jan '14 - 1:18pm

    I think it is about time we stopped marginalising a very important sexual minority from public discourse by renaming the catch-all:


  • jedibeeftrix 26th Jan '14 - 1:25pm

    ^This^ mildly humorous aside in favour of Furry’s rights is not intended to demean any individual who might define themselves by their difference from heterosexual norms, rather it is questioning the end-point of identity politics?

    Simple old me, stick-in-the-mud that I am, relies principally on the identity “British”; an inclusive community that welcomes all regardless of the colour or creed (or orientation).


  • Maybe UKIP are just demonstrating their distain of the European parliament and voting in a way calculated to cause annoyance. Could be a simpler explanation.

  • ” Maybe UKIP are just demonstrating their distain of the European parliament and voting in a way calculated to cause annoyance. Could be a simpler explanation.”
    It could indeed be a simpler explanation. In fact sending 18 Ukip MEP’s to Brussels in May, is wrong headed thinking. It needs to be calibrated more accurately as sending 18 Guy Fawkes to Brussels.

  • jenny barnes 27th Jan '14 - 11:04am

    Malcolm Todd, Stuart Mitchell, jedibeeftrix…
    Why do you feel the need to share your ignorance of how to use google here? Most people when coming across an acronym or word they don’t understand just look it up. It doesn’t advance the debate.

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