According to an unnamed “spokesman” for Pride in London, the organizer of the June 27 gay pride parade through London, it will be too dangerous to all concerned if UKIP’s LGBT members are allowed to walk with numerous other groups in one of largest street celebrations on the capital’s calendar. The unnamed spokesman doesn’t explain exactly how UKIP’s gay community endangers others in the parade. But, apparently, the majority of parade participants believe the danger is clear and present. Here’s how Pride in London presents the undefined danger and their decision: to ban UKIP:
For this year we have reached the decision that UKIP’s application to join the Pride in London Parade, 27th June 2015, will be turned down. This decision has been made after careful consultation in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit …
“Over the past two years we set about creating an event that is inclusive, celebratory, accessible, campaigning, welcoming, vibrant, safe …
“Whether we are able to run an event safely – keeping members of the public,, participants and spectators safe and enabling people to have an enjoyable day in the spirit of Pride. We are also very mindful of our volunteers who steward the event, we will not put them in a situation where they feel intimidated, threatened or are exposed to increased risk. “
Ironically, Pride in London’s decision to ban UKIP’s minority contingent to appease the “fear” expressed by the majority is reminiscent of how UK law once appeased the “majority”, who were convinced that all gay men are rapists and paedophiles and that they presented an unidentified danger to children. There was no evidence to support that claim, of course, but, when it comes to appeasing an angry mob, as is the case here, truth takes a back seat to cowardice and expediency.
Now, I’ve met several of UKIP’s many LGBT members and, frankly, they just don’t seem that scary to me. I didn’t witness any biting, gouging or scratching over Chai Lattes and pastries in Costas. In fact, they all seemed like very ordinary, (no offence guys, but …), abnormally non-dangerous people. I’ve even had conversations with them, some of which strayed into their personal accounts of life in the gay lane.
One thing I can report is that these people are proud of their LGBT community‘s hard-won freedom to express the totality of who they are, uncensored and unashamed. And they are sincerely appreciative toward the millions of people – straight and gay – who, for decades, have had the courage to stand up to the inexcusable criminalizing. marginalizing and social stigmatizing that for too long dogged the LGBT community. They have learned the hard way that unequivocal social, legal and economic inclusiveness is essential if minority communities are to receive the respect they deserve. They know that arbitrary exclusion is a de facto tyranny of the majority. They’ve experienced the violence inherent in a populist mindset that promotes demonization, stereotyping, disinformation and unwarranted vilification based on nothing but prejudice, hate and difference. That’s one of the reasons they’ll be saddened and insulted that Pride in London has excluded and discriminated against hundreds of perfectly decent people from a perfectly decent political party who have been falsely labelled by their political opponents as being cartoonishly evil, not just homophobic, but racist, Nazis, bigoted, misogynistic … pick an insult.
Pride in London insists that its viciously ironic decision to ban UKIP’s LGBT community from its celebration of diversity and the LGBT cause is not a political attack on UKIP, and that its decision is not politically driven. Yet, its decision only makes sense if Pride in London believes — and wants others to believe — that the false accusations made against UKIP are true.
Pride in London is banning UKIP’s LGBT members from parading as a group solely to appease the bigotry of the majority of its volunteers and supporters.
So, I have a question for the Pride in London board – aka Michael Saalter, Chair; Stephen Ward, Deputy Chair & Director, Communications; Rob Anderson, Director, Strategic Delivery; David Bloomfield, Director, Finance & Planning; Alison Camps, Director, Marketing& Advertising; Patrick Lyster-Todd, Director, Community Engagement; Huma Qazi, Director,Team Pride & Organisation; Polly Shute, Director, Sponsorship & Fundraising; Mohsin Zaidi, General Counsel (Director, Secretarial& Legal):
After making the self-serving, discriminatory and ugly decision that some minorities are more equal than others, what, exactly is it that you are all so damned proud of?