Boris Johnson was not at all happy that Peter Tatchell and the organisers of Pride decided to ban the LGBT UKIP from the march. Boris said bluntly “I do not at all agree with this policy”. “I passionately believe in the Pride march and the values of equality it represents and think that all should be allowed to participate. “I hope this is sorted out as soon as possible.”
Feeling was split between the hardliners (Boris should withdraw his funding) and more tender hearted gay supporters who felt gay people have suffered so much over the centuries, they should be allowed to make their own decisions. (People like me.)
Turns out we were both wrong. Yesterday, Peter Tatchell issued a well thought out statement in the London Standard. He explained exactly why he and the Pride organisers had concerns. But he ended by saying “Ukip and its LGBT wing could end the controversy by renouncing the party’s anti-LGBT stance and endorsing policies to remedy the remaining gay inequalities. They have failed to do so.”
“I salute Ukip members who are genuinely seeking to transform the party’s regressive stance on LGBT rights and other issues. I welcome their participation as individuals in the Pride parade.”
Through this statement, Tatchell has seized control. He has shown that the LGBT community has the courage and the confidence to believe they can fight bigotry and win! It takes a lot of strength to do that. Brilliant. Just brilliant.