A candidate for the Scottish Parliament election has been branded a "bigot" after suggesting the Covid crisis was caused by gay marriage. 

Peter Tait is running to become an independent MSP in Shetland, and says his position has been dictated by his religious beliefs.

Mr Tait, a retired mussel farmer, is backing an anti-gay marriage stance, saying “Covid is possibly related to it”. 

He told the Dail Record: “I’m representing, as best I can, things God would want me to represent.”

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Asked if he understood there would likely be a backlash to his views, he said: “I suppose there likely will.”

His comments were branded as “vile” by critics online, who labelled him an “idiot” and a “bigot”.

HeraldScotland:

Same sex marriage became legal in Scotland in 2014

Kerrie Meyer, founder of ShetlandLGBTQ.org.uk, said the candidate should "get back in his primeval hole". 

The activist said: “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."

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Kerrie added: “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.”

HeraldScotland:

Lerwick, Shetland

Mr Tait stood in a Scottish parliamentary by-election in 2019. He got just 31 votes and was placed last out of 10 candidates.

On that occasion, he called for the monarchy to be moved to Scotland, saying the “off-centre position of the Crown” exacerbated the problems between Catholics and Protestants.

Despite Tait’s poor showing he said he was “quite pleased” with the result at the polls.