UKIP have rejected controversial comments made by their own candidate in the Croydon North by-election who said that gay people should not be able to adopt. The by-election takes place this Thursday, 29 November.
Speaking on November 27, Winston McKenzie said: “If you couldn’t look after your child and you had to put them up for adoption, would you honestly want your child to be adopted by a gay couple?
“A caring loving home is a heterosexual or single family. I don’t believe [a gay couple] is healthy for a child.”
He also attacked gay marriage and said: “I don’t believe that it’s right to educate children into believing that gay marriage is a normal situation. As far as I am concerned it’s not.”
Justifying his views, McKenzie, who is the UKIP’s spokesman for culture, media and sport, explained: “There are people out there who bring up their kids encouraging them to believe they are gay themselves.
“A child might be vehemently against being housed with a gay couple but you wouldn’t know until they were older.
“If there’s no alternative then maybe…but if you ask me, I’m not for heterosexual children being adopted by gay couples.”
The comments came after he retweeted a link to an article written by a National Front supporter, which stated that there is “no such thing as homophobia” as people have a “genuine fear”. McKenzie has since deleted the tweet.
UKIP have denounced McKenzie’s views. In a statement released by the party David Coburn, chairman of UKIP London, said: “Mr McKenzie absolutely does not speak for UKIP on the issues of gay marriage and gay adoption.
“UKIP is a libertarian party, we are categorically not against gay adoption; what we do have a problem with is that Catholic adoption agencies have been banned for opposing gay adoption. The only thing that matters is that the children receive a safe and loving home.”
Coburn, who is openly gay, did however reinforce UKIP’s opposition to gay marriage. Colburn added: “The difficulty regarding the same sex marriage debate is that there is no guarantee that religious institutions will not be forced to perform ceremonies that they themselves do not agree with.
“We see this as an act of intolerance in itself and for this reason alone we do not support same sex marriage.”
Nigel Farage, UKIP leader raised the UKIP’s opposition to gay marriage before campaigning in Croydon last week. Farage said: “Winston McKenzie is the only candidate in this by-election who is opposed to the imposition of gay marriage. [Because] faith communities would ultimately have to conduct [gay marriages] in places of worship.
McKenzie has been a member of all three major political parties and has unsuccessfully stood in local elections as an independent or minor party candidate a number of times.
He ran for Croydon North as a candidate for Veritas in 2005 and as an independent in the 2008 London mayoral elections. A former boxer, McKenzie auditioned for X Factor in 2005.