A PROSPECTIVE Ukip councillor has been forced to defend himself against claims he’s anti-gay.
Douglas Denny, who plans to stand for Ukip in Portsmouth City Council’s elections in May, was labelled a homophobe after comments he made on a Ukip members’ forum.
Mr Denny, 66, wrote that he thought male homosexual activity was ‘disgusting’ and that homosexuals were ‘abnormal’.
He said: ‘There was a story in the Sunday Mirror castigating Ukip for being racist and homophobic and all this stuff.
‘There was a discussion on a forum open only to Ukip members about homosexuality and in particular the use of the word sodomite.’
Mr Denny told The News he considered gay people to be ‘abnormal’ because they were a minority of the population.
He said: ‘I wish that they wouldn’t try to keep ramming it down my throat that they are normal in their sexual practices.’
Mr Denny said he been taken out of context, and that he was not anti-homosexual.
He said: ‘I believe homosexuals have a perfect right to live their lives and wander around like everyone else and do not deserve any discrimination because of their sexuality.’
But other councillors said Mr Denny’s views were unacceptable.
Cllr Will Purvis said: ‘I think it is a sad reflection on the types of people that support parties like that. It is unacceptable in a diverse and inclusive city and I hope that this is something that the voters will think as well.’
Cllr Margaret Foster said she was ‘astounded’ by the comments.
She said: ‘I’m absolutely dumbstruck that they would let anybody stand in the elections with that attitude.’
Cllr Luke Stubbs said the comments were out of place, but said Mr Denny had a right to his opinion.
He said: ‘Freedom of speech is very important and so while I don’t agree with his comments, I wouldn’t want to see a witch hunt: they should not debar him from standing for election.’
Mr Denny plans to contest a seat in Drayton and Farlington Ward against incumbent Tory councillor Simon Bosher.
n Additional reporting by Danielle Butler.