The new energy spokesman for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in Scotland, has come under heavy criticism for saying that “selfish” gay people are “deeply hostile” to straight people, and that they are trying to “destroy our society”.
Michael Haseler, who was recently appointed the energy spokesman for UKIP’s Scottish wing, went on to say that politicians in favour of equal marriage were attempting to “redefine marriage in their own perverse concept of society”.
The Sunday Herald, reports that MSPs described Haseler’s comments as “poisonous”, “divisive”, and “beyond the pale”.
In England, the latest local election results show the Conservatives have lost control of nine councils – with UKIP making large gains, polling an average share of 25%. This success came in spite of a Tory Cabinet Minister dismissing UKIP as a “collection of clowns”.
The party is still yet to make headway in Scotland, however, and won less than 1% of the vote in the last Holyrood election. It was dismissed by party leader Nigel Farage as a “graveyard” for the party.
Haseler joined UKIP in March, after being a candidate for the Scottish Greens, and the Liberal Democrats in England.
Writing on his blog titled ‘Scottish Sceptic’, he wrote: “Why would these polticians [sic] seek to destroy the family unit and asset [sic] their illegitimate power to redefine marriage in their own perverse concept of society?”
“Why are gay people so selfish that they cannot see the benefit of long-term couples for the many people who are not gay? Why are they so hostile to hetero-sexual couples – that they feel they have to destroy marriage and replace it with McDonald’s plastic-relationships one-size fits everyone ‘marriage’,” he continued.
Haseler wrote the entry on his blog around a month before joining the party, saying that civil partnerships were a “great idea”, but saying that gay people were “hostile” to straight people.
He said: “I didn’t realise that gay people are actually deeply hostile to heterosexuals. Perhaps that is because of the way they have been treated, but personally, I’ve become less sympathetic to gays, the more they try to destroy our society – the society that gave them the right to be proud of themselves.”
“My belief is that this is just another group of zealots who are doing no real good for most of the people they claim to represent who have yet again got the ear of the idiots in parliament and are yet again railroading their idiotic ideas through parliament,” he concluded.
The Sunday Herald reports that Haseler has since said his comments were aimed at “gay activists”, and that they represented his “personal positions”.
“I was putting it there to provoke discussion. People have to consider other points of view. I am pro-marriage. I am not against homosexuals.”
Addressing the comments, Patrick Harvie, Green MSP said: “This is an extraordinary rant from someone who appears to have some quite confusing ‘issues’ to deal with – UKIP’s candidates have compared same-sex relationships to child abuse, called for new homophobic laws, and suggested that gay people should be ‘cured’ by PE lessons. Mr Haseler is clearly aiming to fit right in.”
Another MSP, Drew Smith, said: “These comment are beyond the pale and the leadership should distance themselves from this man if they have – aspirations of making an impact in Scottish politics.”
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also commented, saying: “I think Mr Haseler will find that the real hostility will be directed at him and his poisonous and divisive views about equal marriage. Scotland is a modern, tolerant nation.”
On Friday, UKIP candidate David Nixon, who distributed leaflets claiming legalising same-sex marriage would lead to explicit “Homosexual Sex Education”, has failed to be elected as the councillor for Stone Rural in Staffordshire.