BNP leader Nick Griffin claims to have the “support” of gay people after making a series of outspoken comments to a student newspaper about same-sex parenting.

In an interview with the Leeds Student, Mr Griffin denied being anti-gay but said civil partnerships were a way of “sliding towards marriage for everyone through the backdoor.

“It undermines the institution of marriage, and as a result of that, children will die over the next few years, because they’ll be brought up in homes which aren’t married”.

Mr Griffin once again defended his decision to tweet the address of a Cambridgeshire gay couple, who last week won a discrimination case against the Christian owner of a bed and breakfast.

At the time the MEP also called for a demonstration to be held outside their home.

His behaviour has now been referred to the European Parliament by Labour MEPs.

During the interview, student journalist James Greenhaigh said to Mr Griffin: “I’m gay. What is wrong with people like me?”

Mr Griffin responded by saying: “Let me explain. Gay people have complained for years that the rest of society hasn’t understood how they feel, and has had to make allowances, has to be tolerant”.

He continued: “So why can’t you people simply get over it and tolerate the fact that a lot of heterosexual people – we don’t want to persecute you – but we find the sight of two men kissing creepy. That’s just a fact. What’s the problem? You [students] may think I’m a monster, but look at what your fate would be in an Islamic republic of Britain”.

Mr Griffin also claimed he was a more tolerant BNP leader because under his leadership, the party had scrapped its policy to re-criminalise homosexuality.

“Plenty of gay people are now fed up of so many straights going to their clubs, particularly in my constituency in Manchester. They want the right to discriminate against heterosexuals, and I’m the only politician in Britain who would give them that right, because I believe people should have the freedom of association,” the MEP said.

Invoking America’s previous ban on openly gay soldiers, Mr Griffin said: “We now have a policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ People can do whatever they want in private.”