Nigel Farage: Christians and Muslims should be able to disapprove of gay lifestyles
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has defended the “conscience clause” of his party’s Christian manifesto.
The manifesto said: “UKIP opposed same-sex marriage legislation because it impinged upon the beliefs of millions of people of faith.
“We will not repeal the legislation, as it would be grossly unfair and unethical to ‘un-marry’ loving couples or restrict further marriages, but we will not require churches to marry same-sex couples.
“We will also extend the legal concept of ‘reasonable accommodation’ to give protection in law to those expressing a religious conscience in the workplace on this issue.”
On The Andrew Marr show, Mr Farage was asked to explain what the “reasonable accommodation” meant.
Mr Farage said: “Let’s be clear, we have an active and growing LGBT group within UKIP, lots of gay candidates standing for us in these elections.
“There has been another establishment attempt to paint UKIP as anti-gay. That is rubbish.
“What we’re saying is that all minorities deserve respect, and gay people deserve their rights.
“But also Christians, and Muslims for that matter, should be able to hold the reasonable position that they don’t approve of some lifestyles.
Interviewer Andrew Marr asked: “If I’m running a B&B, and I don’t approve of gay people, can I say ‘I’m terribly sorry but you can’t come in?'” to which Mr Farage replied: “Well that would be open prejudice.”
Asked to give an example of what his conscience clause would apply to, Mr Farage said “No, I’m not going to”, and then said talking about “one tiddly piece of our manifesto” was distracting from the real issues.