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UKIP Have Been Allowed To March At Pride And Some LGBT People Are Furious

The decision to let UKIP take part in London Pride has sparked outrage, a petition, and calls for a boycott.

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Sarah Gillborn, from Leeds Beckett University, who set up the petition told BuzzFeed News:

"I woke up this morning to the news that UKIP would be marching and I thought it was a joke because of the amount of things in the press about the homophobic things they've said. I thought was shocking."

However, she said: "You can't stop anyone from any political party going if they identify as LGBT, but to have a party that's so inherently homophobic marching under the name UKIP I thought was offensive and would overshadow the day."

"I hope as a result of the petition UKIP will be removed from the parade," said Gillborn. "A lot of people are not happy about them coming. People are talking about boycotting, which I don't agree with because Pride is such a great event, but I hope the Pride board members will listen to what people will want and will take UKIP off the parade."

People on social media have reacted with shock and anger at UKIP being allowed to march.

@LondonLGBTPride having @UKIP at Pride suggests that your HIV+, ethnic minority, and immigrant patrons don't matter to you.

As the BME peoples rep for London pride Community Advisory Board, I am completely against UKIP marching in the Pride parade. #NoUkipAtPride

Shame on London LGBT #Pride for allowing UKIP to participate. A shambles.

Absolutely disgusted by fact that UKIP will be marching at Pride. Shame on @LondonLGBTPride! #BoycottPride https://t.co/tRlTpjDUFm

Why the hell are UKIP allowed at London Pride. Racism, xenephobia, homophobia and islamophobia should have no place in the LGBTQIA+ movement

Unusual that UKIP are going to be walking in London LGBT Pride. What's the campaign? Kick out HIV+ Migrants?

Some people have reacted with even more disgust.

THE FUTURE IS UKIP GAY BOYS SLOWLY KICKING U TO DEATH. #pride

UKIP are literally on the pride parade lineup this year will i ever awake from this hellscape

everyday i wake up on this rainy facism island hoping nothing even shitter happens - but look - ukip on london pride is a thing

Others are saying it will stop them going to the march.

Why in god's name would @LondonLGBTPride allow such racist homophobes as UKIP to take part in Pride march? Means I certainly won't take part

Was gonna make this year's @LondonLGBTPride my first pride, but apparently I'd be marching alongside UKIP, so..

But Pride organisers have defended their decision to allow UKIP in the parade.

@charlottor Pride is a platform for the whole LGBT+ community, including LGBT+ members of UKIP if they so wish.

And not everyone has condemned the decision to give UKIP a place at Pride.

Sorry but I genuinely don't understand why people are upset at UKIP being in the Pride parade but not the cops or the armed forces

Right decision by @LondonLGBTPride to allow @ukiplgbt to march in parade. Party won 4m votes. We can't ignore that. http://t.co/2ug4Saimzx

A spokesman for London Pride told BuzzFeed:

"Pride in London is inclusive of all LGBT+ groups, including political groups and – as with all entrants - they must sign and comply with our code of conduct. We provide a platform for every part of the LGBT+ community and respect the principles of free speech.

"We do not discriminate against people based on their political affiliation, and all political parties taking part in the Parade will be positioned together in the same section. However, Pride in London will continue to monitor community reaction and include the Community Advisory Board in this conversation."

Following the outrage at UKIP's inclusion in London pride, the party has been banned from the event.

In a statement, the Board of Directors of LGBT + London Community Pride, noted that this decision "has not been made on a political basis," but instead "in order to protect participants and ensure the event passes off safely and in the right spirit."

In response to the decision, UKIP's chair of LGBT Flo Lewis said, "We should, I think, be very sorry that this decision has been made, equally we are sorry that the organising committee and Board of London Pride 2015 has been put under the sort of pressure it has over the past few days."

Patrick Strudwick is a LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Strudwick at patrick.strudwick@buzzfeed.com.

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