Same-sex marriage could be “illiberal” because religious groups may be forced to perform same-sex weddings, the leader of UKIP has said.
Nigel Farage criticised the legalisation of gay marriage in an interview with YouTube channel ChatPolitics.
He said that passing same-sex marriage into law could prove to be “profoundly illiberal” because of the power of the European Court of Human Rights.
He said, “there is a very real legal risk that you could finish up with faith communities being forced to conduct such ceremonies which would be illiberal because it would stop people pursuing some of their own beliefs”.
Mr Farage did suggest that party policy on same-sex marriage had not been discussed, though a statement on the UKIP website affirms civil partnerships and rejects redefining marriage.
The website says: “Civil partnerships represent an entirely common sense way of allowing gay men and women in our country to register in a formal way their longterm commitment to one another”.
“Gay marriage is an entirely different thing altogether”, it adds.
UKIP is the only main political party which is against redefining marriage and saw a dramatic increase in support at local elections in May this year.
Election expert, Professor John Curtice, said UKIP gained support from voters who are socially conservative on issues like gay marriage.