Support 4 the Family

David Kurten

Ben Walker

UKIP and Media Reaction to Leadership Candidate Policy Survey

During the election campaign for a new Party Leader, to be appointed in September 2017, we sent out a policy survey to all candidates, asking for their views about family values, sexuality and gender. Their replies were published on this website, and the response of the media, and from people within UKIP with opposing points of view, was more than we expected and has raised our profile to a new level. We had been gradually gaining support for some time through exhibitions at national and regional conferences, but now everybody knows about Support 4 the Family.

In early July we started work on the policy survey so that it would be ready when the campaign begins. The nominations closed on Friday 28 July but we had to wait until the next Friday, 4 August, for the list of candidates to be announced. When the announcement came, there were 11 candidates but it was just a provisional list, subject to a vetting process. We decided to send out our policy survey anyway, and it was mailed to the candidates on 6 and 7 August.

David Kurten was first to reply, on 6 August less than 3 hours after receiving the survey, making clear his position as a staunch supporter of traditional family values. The next day, 7 August, he got some rather shabby publicity from Pink News and on 8 August he updated one of his answers.

On 9 August we had a reply from John Rees-Evans expressing similar traditional views, and Ben Walker replied on 11 August giving us something more liberal. We also heard from David Allen on 13 August but he said he didn’t want to answer the questions.

The survey and the answers we received are here.

Denunciation of the "Homophobes" and Calls for Dismissal

On Monday 7 August, when we only had the answers from David Kurten, Pink News published an article complaining that UKIP had “failed to tackle a number of homophobes standing for election”.

Then on Wednesday 9 August, they published another article saying that one of David’s answers had been “quietly revised”, as if he had changed his mind about something and was doing some sort of cover-up.

So let’s see what he had changed. Question no. 6 was: “Is our sexual orientation (gay or straight) fixed at birth or not?”

The original answer was: “The latest scientific studies show that incidence of homosexuality in adults decreases with age, so it is unlikely to be fixed at birth. Study after study also shows that the incidence of homosexuality is much higher among people who have been sexually abused as children. This is an issue which needs to be addressed but is not because of political correctness.”

The updated answer was: "According to Lisa Diamond, a lesbian professor at the University of Utah, sexual orientation is often fluid and there is little evidence for a ‘gay gene’ so it is unlikely to be fixed at birth. There are many reasons for sexual orientation, but some studies have concluded that the incidence of homosexuality is much higher among people who have been sexually abused as children. This is an issue which is often left unacknowledged because of political correctness, but needs to be addressed so that counseling and help can be given where necessary."

As you can see, the answers are not greatly different. This is no cover-up, he is saying pretty much the same thing and referencing as his source: Lisa Diamond, PhD, professor of developmental psychology and health psychology at the University of Utah.

Then in the afternoon, also on Wednesday 9 August, Peter Whittle tweeted “This is so wrong on every level. Neither I, nor any of the gay friends and colleagues I have known over 35 years, were sexually abused.”

Then in the evening, Mirror Online picked up on this and said “UKIP leadership candidate sparks backlash...” and they also had a go at John Rees Evans for having similar views.

On the same day, and while the candidate vetting was still in progress, LGBT* in UKIP published an open letter, signed by 21 of their supporters including Suzanne Evans, demanding that David Kurten should be dropped from the leadership contest.

David Kurten Bounces Back

The next day, Thursday 10 August, David published a statement in response to this, complaining that “Without contacting me at all, some people, including another candidate for the leadership and another person who previously attempted to have me deselected as a candidate for the London Assembly, have either attacked me publicly or signed an open letter calling for my exclusion from the contest, simply for expressing traditional views and mentioning the results of some studies.” He also elaborated on the scientific studies and quoted references to support his position.

One of the signatories of the LGBT letter, when he read David’s response, realised that Pink News had misled him and wrote a topic on Facebook saying he wanted his name to be removed from the letter.

The next day, Friday 11 August, Piers Wauchope, the Returning Officer, sent a circular to UKIP members giving the final list of vetted candidates and it was all the 11 candidates on the original list, including David Kurten. Then on 13 August the list was published on the UKIP website.

On 11 August, Breitbart published an article in support of David.

Then on Monday 14 August, Ryan Waters, Chairman of UKIP Gravesham, published an open letter signed by 30 prominent past and present UKIP members, supporting David and claiming that the LGBT* in UKIP had broken the party rules by publicly denouncing him and interfering with his right to express his views.

But Pink News doesn’t give up. On the same day, 14 August, they published an article denouncing John Rees Evans for saying he wants to ban same-sex marriage:

Then on Wednesday 16 August a supportive article appeared in UKIP Daily saying that same-sex marriage is just a gateway to all sorts of other absurdities.

Then on Sunday 20 August an article from our Chairman, Alan Williams, was published in Kipper Central denouncing the attack against David as an example of Cultural Marxism.

And so it goes on. We always hoped that Support 4 the Family would do something that would make an impact, and certainly this policy survey has achieved more than we anticipated. We hope it continues, and maybe we are at last seeing the breakdown of the “born gay” myth and the wrong science and wrong politics that it has inflicted on society.

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John Rees-Evans