An election candidate in Scotland has sparked outrage after suggesting gay marriage is the cause of coronavirus.
Peter Tait, who is standing in Shetland as an Independent candidate, said the deadly virus is “possibly related” to same-sex weddings.
Covid-19 has so far claimed almost 127,000 lives in the UK and more than 2,850,000 across the world.
The retired mussel farmer claims his position relates to his religious beliefs saying: “I’m representing as best I can things that God would want me to represent.”
Mr Tait made the shocking claims in an interview with Shetland Times ahead of the elections in May.
He said he would be standing against gay marriage for the Shetland MSP seat before adding the breathtaking claim that he thinks “Covid is possibly related to it.”
When he was asked if he thought there would be a backlash to his views, he replied: “I suppose there likely will.”
When Mr Tait stood in the island’s 2019 by-elections he told voters he’d move the monarchy to Scotland.
However he limped home with a paltry 31 votes coming last out of the 10 candidates.
But he said this time around he “just wanted to make my case well, irrespective of votes”.
Kerrie Meyer, founder of ShetlandLGBTQ.org.uk, told the Daily Record : “It is obvious to any sane and educated person that Mr Tait is clearly an idiot by espousing such a nonsense notion.
“His ridiculous belief that Covid is a causation of gay marriage is not only a dangerous conspiracy theory but could propagate and incite hate of gay people and surely contravenes the Equality Act 2010.
“So-called free speech that promotes such hate and division should not be given a platform.
“The Electoral Commission could take measures against Mr Tait for promoting such a dangerous conspiracy theory and vile comments about gay marriage.
“In the meantime, he needs to climb back into his primeval hole.”
His claims also sparked fury on social media.
One Twitter user said: “These are the same morons who called AIDS the gay plague. People like this should be kept as far away from public office as possible.”
Another commented: “Delusional bigots like this a**hole shouldn’t be anywhere near politics.”
A third said: “He is delusional and a bigot.”
Scottish Labour candidate Martin Kerr said his party supported the rights of gay people to marry.