Just days after it emerged that the chairman of the UKIP’s youth wing, Young Independence had been removed from office for supporting same-sex marriage, a UKIP Parliamentary candidate has been forced to resign following his support for equal marriage.
Until this evening, Richard Lowe was the UKIP (United Kingdom Independence Party)’s Parliamentary candidate for the City of Chester. Tonight he has been forced to resign by his local party after writing a letter to a local newspaper, the Chester Standard, where he expressed his whole hearted support for the Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage.
In the letter he wrote:-
I refer to the letter from Anonymous in the December 27 Standard regarding “gay marriage”. I prefer to call it equal marriage.
Firstly, I take issue with the point regarding the dictionary’s definition. Just because a dictionary dictates it, must we obey?
Similarly, words are often added to the dictionary- ‘bouncebackability’ and ‘d’oh’ being two notable insertions of recent times.
I make no criticism of the Christian definition of marriage- that is for that religion and indeed its followers to abide by. Similarly, I will vehemently defend any institution from being forced to hold ceremonies that they disagree with.
However, the legislation proposed offers a guarantee that religious institutions will not be at risk of being taken to court and indeed other nations with the European Union have successfully implemented equal marriage without anyone forcing churches to hold same-sex weddings.
My own take? Live and let live. At its core, marriage is about people in love with each other, cementing their relationship in law.
We have religious-free weddings already in place. Why not simply remove the prohibition and offer the same courtesy to same-sex couples in love?
Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Mr Lowe said that he was not forced out by the national party but rather by his local party, who told him the “straw that broke the camel’s back was my letter”. They told him that after writing about his support for gays to have the same rights as straight people, they could no longer campaign for him.
He added that after the recent events such as the removal of UKIP youth chairman Olly Neville for supporting gay rights but not removing a candidate who said that same-sex adoption is child abuse or another who said that gay people should express “gratitude” to straight people, on whom they are reliant to be born as well as claiming readers of PinkNews should be sectioned under the Mental Health Act, made him realise that he could not remain a member and a candidate for the party.
He told PinkNews.co.uk: “I’m not someone who feels happy with campaigning for things they oppose, and feel it’s honest to let people know how you feel on topical issues – which I did.”
UKIP and the right-wing British National Party are the only in England and Wales to officially oppose same-sex marriage.