Incumbent Mayor of London Boris Johnson has reaffirmed his support of marriage equality for gay couples and said he will release his LGBT manifesto ahead of London’s elections this week to an “amazed world”.
In an interview with Scott Roberts for GaydarRadio ahead of the capital’s elections this Thursday, the incumbent mayor promised the LGBT manifesto was on its way, although with most postal votes having already been cast, some Londoners may be more amazed by the timing.
Quizzed on whether the manifesto would include any new information or pledges for London’s gay and transgender citizens, the Mayor said: “The best thing you can do is devour it, it’s going to be good.”
Mr Johnson had pledged to publish an LGBT manifesto for the first time at Stonewall’s mayoral hustings several weeks ago, having previously said it was his position to unite people rather than divide them into minorities. Former mayor Ken Livingstone offered his up for inspiration.
Asked about cuts to HIV prevention services, Mr Johnson said one of his first actions was to appoint Annie Lennox as HIV/AIDS ambassador for London and said you can “never be complacent about this problem”.
He added: “If there’s more I can do to campaign for protection and ensuring that people are aware of the risks associated with HIV and AIDS then I will do so.”
Asked whether he was surprised by the lengths marriage equality opponents were going to, he told GaydarRadio: “I’m pro marriage, it’s a good thing and I don’t understand the position of those who are so deeply hostile to what is proposed.
“It seems to me marriage is an ancient human institution and what is proposed is fine. What I would say is that the stuff that was going to go on the side of buses was completely offensive to a large number of number of Londoners in the sense that it was going to be construed as suggesting that gays can be cured, but worse still it would have created such a serious backlash that it wouldn’t have been in the interest of Christian groups in London either.”
Asked what he would say to Conservative MPs who were not backing marriage equality, he responded: “I think that the policy as far as I understand it is going ahead, I would stress again that the London I want to see is a London where people are not set one against the other and where we do what we can to unite. That’s my job as mayor, to unite people of all beliefs, all sexual orientations and just get on with it.”
“I’m sure that explanation is always the best way of removing prejudice, but my priority at the moment is not just to unite the city but to get us moving economically.”
Listen to the full recording of Boris Johnson’s interview with GaydarRadio below.