UKIP’s LGBT group has written an open letter, to its party councillor who claimed that same-sex marriage caused floods to hit parts of the UK over December and January. During the debates and votes on same-sex marriage in England and Wales, the UKIP LGBTQ group opposed same-sex marriage on the grounds of religious freedom.
David Silvester, the UKIP councillor for Henley upon Thames claimed that David Cameron caused floods by fighting to make same-sex marriage legal. He also claimed today that homosexuality can be cured through Christian prayer and that more children have been ‘murdered’ by abortion than the number of Jews killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
Now the UKIP LGBT* group has written an open letter to Mr Silvester criticising his views on same-sex marriage and his attack on a law that it also attacked during its Parliamentary process. The letter signed by five of UKIP LGBT*’s members is reproduced in full below:-
Writing on behalf of all of LGBT* in UKIP, I am appalled and dismayed at the comments you chose to make when writing to the Henley Standard regarding the recent floods and its link, in your opinion, to gay marriage.
Your comments have rightly attracted derision from people of all political beliefs, and once again have painted UKIP in a negative light – an unacceptable act for which you cannot be excused.
I write with perverse intrigue as to why you have chosen to blame the bad weather on gay marriage, using the Bible as the point of reference for your theory.
The Met Office have stated “The main reason for the mild and wet weather so far is that we have seen a predominance of west and south-west winds, bringing in mild air from the Atlantic – as well as generally unsettled conditions.” – regardless of whether you believe in a God or not, sudden rainfall has not just formulated out of nowhere upon the UK. An “Act of God” this is not.
I wonder what your thoughts on what causes the droughts in Uganda, or the spread of Hepatitis A, Malaria, Typhoid and Yellow Fever in that country?
If I were to suggest it was because God was constantly angry with the homophobic administration or their equally vile, repugnant laws (see the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, passed there on 20/12/2013), I am sure you would reply that I was being absurd and that it was a case of an absence of medicinal development in Uganda and a severe lack of medical assistance in that country.
So why should you think something different applies in the UK? Because you’ve quoted a favourite select passage from the Bible?
Given you’ve chosen passages that others of Christians faith have long since ignored, I would like to know: do you believe:
That it is disgraceful for a woman to speak out in church? (1 Corinthians 14:34-36)
That there should be a death penalty imposed for going to work on Sunday? (Exodus 35:1-3)
That a man who rapes a virgin should buy her from her father and marry her? (Deuteronomy 22:28-29)
I am not arguing that you are not entitled to your own religious beliefs – that is one of your birthrights, and one I will defend.
What I shall not defend is (a) for your beliefs to go unchallenged, or (b) for you to cause damage to an organization to which you belong as a direct result of your comments.
In your letter, you referred to yourself as “Cllr David Silvester, UKIP” – here, I deem that you were not speaking merely as an individual, but you decided to bring your political and professional allegiance to your comments – hence why I have decided to write in response.
As a councillor (and one for UKIP) you have a duty to all your constituents, spanning a range of genders, sexualities, ethnic backgrounds, political preferences, faiths etc. By forefronting your own beliefs and expressing them under both a UKIP and a ‘councillor’ banner, I feel you have let down a number of your constituents who are LGBT*, who perhaps feel ostracized from you (their representative) and maybe even threatened by the feeling that what you (as what should be a respected figure in your community) deem in public to be acceptable does not include them.
I await a response and a retraction of the comments you made in your article.
Flo Laura Lewis
PinkNews notes the use of spellings more usually associated with American English.