Croydon gay rights group condemns UKIP's Winston McKenzie over same-sex adoption
A GAY rights group which covers Croydon North has condemned UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie's comments about same-sex adoption.
Mr McKenzie, standing in Thursday's by-election in Croydon North, provoked national outrage yesterday when he told the Advertiser it was "unhealthy" for gay and lesbian couples to bring up children.
His comments come a few days after a Rotherham Council was criticised for removing three children from a foster couple because they belong to UKIP.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who described that decision as "prejudiced", has yet to comment on Mr McKenzie's views but David Coburn, the party's chairman in London, claims the situation was "nothing like Rotherham".
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Ross Burgess, secretary of Croydon Area Gay Society (CAGS), described Mr McKenzie's remarks as "weird and incoherent".
He explained: "Rotherham council's decision to remove children from foster parents because of their UKIP membership seems pretty indefensible. The best people to care for children are those who can give them a loving and supportive home, whatever their background or political views.
"So it was shocking to hear that Winston McKenzie wants to exclude a whole class of people from adopting, at a time when there's a clear lack of adoptive parents nationwide."
Mr McKenzie, UKIP's spokesperson for culture, media and sport, asked the Advertiser: "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?"
He suggested same-sex couples might bring their children up to be homosexual and then launched into a bizarre rant at celebrities who "pretend" to be gay.
Mr McKenzie, who once stood for London mayor, added: "I've nothing against gays. I wouldn't attack a man or a woman because of his sexuality…but personally, as a deeply religious person, I don't advocate gay marriage."
The Advertiser contacted Mr McKenzie after he retweeted a link to an article written by a National Front supporter which claimed there was "no such thing as homophobia".
Mr Burgess said: "It was even more shocking to hear that Mr McKenzie supports the National Front on the issue of homophobia.
"On the question of equal marriage, Mr McKenzie, as a 'deeply religious person', is entitled to his views, but a number of religious bodies and churches are committed to conducting same-sex marriage when the law allows – why should their religious freedoms be denied?
"His ideas about celebrities pretending to be gay, or equal marriage being an insult to gay people, are so weird and incoherent that we wonder whether he really does know any gay people."
UKIP has distanced itself from Mr McKenzie's remarks. While it supports gay adoption it is against same-sex marriage.