The UK Independence Party has defended not making a single mention of LGBT people in its manifesto.
Nigel Farage’s party today finally launched a manifesto – but incredibly, failed to weigh in on a single LGBT rights issue.
UKIP is the only one of the five main UK parties to make no mention of gay people at all in its manifesto – though the Lib Dems also made no specific mention of transgender people.
Despite not mentioning homosexuality, the party did affirm its opposition to giving an inclusive relationship education to primary school pupils – claiming it would “encourage experimentation”.
A party spokesperson told the Independent: “UKIP believe absolutely in equality, and as such have produced a manifesto for all, rather than driven by the needs of differing special interest groups.
“We believe that amongst other things properly funded healthcare, that lower taxes, that a decent defence and political freedom from the European Union are things that are good for all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual preference. It is a message of equality and universality.”
However, the party has been condemned for the glaring omission.
Alistair Stewart of the Kaleidoscope Trust said it was “disappointing, if not surprising”.
He added: “The absence of any reference to the LGBT community really stands them out compared to almost all other parties, who have flagged their commitment to supporting LGBT voters.”
Stonewall said: “It’s extremely disappointing that UKIP has failed to recognise or agree to help tackle issues affecting the way certain groups of people can live freely as themselves without fear of persecution or discrimination.
“We’re at an extremely important point in the LGBT movement where, if we have any hope of achieving this, complacency is not an option.”
Despite Nigel Farage’s continued insistence that his party has been “ruthless” with homophobic candidates, PinkNews has exposed a number of bigots still standing for the party with no action from the party leadership.