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UKIP leadership hopeful: Gay people were sexually abused as children, and I want to ban same-sex marriage

Nick Duffy August 9, 2017

David Kurten (Richard Stonehouse/Getty)

PinkNews Exclusive
A leading UKIP leadership hopeful has told party members that he believes homosexuality is linked to childhood sexual abuse.

The extraordinary claims come from David Kurten, one of the UK Independence Party’s two elected members of the London Assembly, and one of the candidates vying to replace Paul Nuttall as party leader.

PinkNews can reveal that Mr Kurten, who has earned the backing of influential pro-Brexit Leave.EU donor Arron Banks, made the claims in a response to ultra-conservative UKIP campaign group ‘Support 4 the Family’.

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Responding to a written Q&A, Mr Kurten vowed to fight for the “restoration” of marriage as between one man and one woman, which threatens to void the thousands of existing same-sex marriages in the UK.

He said: “I personally believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. If there were a free vote in Parliament I would vote to restore this definition of marriage.”

Asked if he believes sexual orientation is “fixed at birth”, Mr Kurten insisted that it is the result of childhood sexual abuse.

He said: “The latest scientific studies show that incidence of homosexuality in adults decreases with age, so it is unlikely to be fixed at birth.

“Study after study also shows that the incidence of homosexuality is much higher among people who have been sexually abused as children. This is an issue which needs to be addressed but is not because of political correctness.”

The leadership hopeful also suggested that kids who come out as gay should be put through ‘counselling’ at school.

He wrote: “Counseling involving parents should be offered on a one to one basis for children aged 13 – 16 who wish to discuss sexual orientation.”

The candidate also said “reasonable accommodations” should be offered to people who oppose LGBT equality.

He wrote: “Yes. Reasonable accommodation should allow people to express support for traditional marriage without fear of penalty.

“Pharmacists should also be allowed to refrain from selling abortion pills; midwives and doctors should not have to perform abortions, and Catholic adoption agencies should be allowed to re-open and serve male/female married couples only.”

A spokesperson for Mr Kurten confirmed to PinkNews that the answers were genuine.

The answers on the Support 4 the Family website, which is coincidentally run by Mr Kurten’s campaign manager, have now been quietly revised, after an enquiry from PinkNews.

Peter Whittle, UKIP’s only other member of the London Assembly, hit out at the comments.

Mr Whittle, who is openly gay, said: “This is so wrong on every level. Neither I, nor any of the gay friends and colleagues I have known over 35 years, were sexually abused.”

In a statement, the leaders of the LGBT* in UKIP group said: “Today, LGBT* in UKIP have been made aware of the disgraceful, offensive, homophobic and transphobic comments published by PinkNews quoting David Kurten.

“We call for those who are vetting the leadership candidates to be made aware of these remarks and that they are taken into consideration whilst the panel determine the candidates application.

“Further to this, we call for immediate suspension pending full investigation with purpose to review such comments as a representative of the party, not only as an Education spokesperson but also a London Assembly member.”

Update: UKIP Assembly Member ‘not fit for elected office’ after anti-gay comments, says party’s Deputy Chair

The comments come days after Mr Kurten vowed to shift the party aggressively against transgender rights.

He told Buzzfeed that UKIP could take advantage of the Tories “[deciding] to start pushing gender queer theory on primary schools.”

He added: “People don’t want their children to be confused by this kind of thing.

“I will take UKIP in the direction of standing against the militant transgender activism that’s happening at the moment.”

Mr Kurten previously said the government should ban teaching about “non-reproductive sexual acts” under the age of consent, effectively banning discussion of homosexuality in the classroom.

He said: “We must protect our children from damaging and confusing fringe ideologies which sexualise children at an early age and confuse their natural development as boys and girls – both in primary, secondary and even pre-schools.

“No one would have thought 10 years ago that it would ever be considered politically incorrect to call children boys or girls, to call parents mothers or fathers, or if you say there are two biological sexes determined by your chromosomes rather than 40 or 50 or 60 different genders then this is on the way to being considered a hate crime.

“Of course it isn’t. It’s science.”

Three of the candidates in the leadership race – London Assembly member Peter Whittle, Scotland leader David Coburn, and anti-Islam activist Anne Marrie Waters – are openly gay, though not necessarily in support of LGBT rights.

Mr Whittle was considered the frontrunner in the race, though Mr Kurten has been bolstered by the backing of influential billionaire donor Arron Banks.

The struggling party has churned its way through a string of leaders in the past two years – with the reigns passing between Nigel Farage, Suzanne Evans, Nigel Farage, Diane James, Nigel Farage, Paul Nuttall and current interim leader Steve Crowther.

Another candidate in the leadership race famously claimed a gay donkey raped his horse.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage recently insisted that Donald Trump “had a point” when he banned transgender people from the US military.

More: David Kurten, Gay, Kurten, LGBT, uk independence party, UKIP

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