LGBT campaigners stood by their decision not to let Ukip march at this year’s Pride yesterday, declaring that its discriminatory policies went against the event’s ethos.
Speakers and delegates at this year’s Trades Union Congress LGBT conference proudly supported the exclusion of Nigel Farage’s party from the march.
Thousands of complaints poured in earlier this month after the announcement of this year’s Pride line-up revealed a Ukip contingent marching along historic LGBT rights groups.
A petition calling for the group to be banned from Pride due to its “inherently homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, racist and misogynistic” role collected over 2,400 signatures.
The party was told to stay home to “ensure the event passes on safely and in the right spirit.”
Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) co-founder Mike Jackson told delegates that excluding the “invidious, divisive” organisation was “absolutely the right decision.”
Southall Black Sisters director Pragna Patel also told conference anti-racism was also at the core of the solidarity movement forged by LGSM between the LGBT community and miners during the 1984-85 strike.
“We recognised that the miners’ strike represented an important opportunity to forge politics of solidarity and unity between places and whites against injustice and inequality,” she said.
She added that Ukip’s stances on immigration and not so subtle promotion of Islamophobia went directly against the “principles” of Pride.
Long-time LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell waded in saying the Euro-sceptic party should not be banned on grounds of safety, but because of “the party’s long-standing and often vociferous hostility to equal human rights for LGBT people.”
In response, Ukip politicians argued that they were being discriminated against, accusing organisers of “hypocrisy” and curtailing free speech.