A UKIP candidate for Mid Ulster has warned against legalising same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, saying it lacks legitimacy.

The Tyrone Times reports Alan Day said: “No government has the right to redefine marriage.”

He added: “Personally, I believe that marriage is constituted for the lifelong union of man and woman, for the procreation of children.

“I believe traditional marriage remains the most stable way for children to be raised, and should be supported and protected by government.”

The Stormont Assembly will debate equal marriage on Tuesday in a Private Members’ Motion filed by several MLAs.

Sinn Fein, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the Alliance Party and the Greens all support equal marriage.

The UK Independence Party’s sole member of the Northern Ireland Assembly has announced he will vote against the motion.

David McNarry said: “Proposals to introduce homosexual and lesbian ‘marriage’, represent unacceptable intrusion by the state into matters of personal conscience. In a truly free society, such interference must be strongly resisted”.

Yesterday it was revealed that a council candidate for UKIP in Staffordshire had described the arrival of same-sex marriage in England and Wales as a “Sad day for all us straight people”.

Nigel Farage recently made light of the “fruitcakes and loonies” within his party while appearing on Have I Got News For You.

Earlier this month, Douglas Denny, a UKIP candidate in Portsmouth, came under fire for saying that gay sex was ‘disgusting’ and ‘abnormal’.

He was defended by local UKIP chairman Stuart Potter, who said that he had been “wrongly accused of being a homophobe which he is certainly not.”

Councillor David Silvester was expelled from UKIP in February, after claiming that same-sex marriage was responsible for flooding across the UK.