April 6, 2014
Officers are reviewing the comments on Saturday night in which South Lakes Wild Animal Park owner David Gill states: “I’m sorry, but watching the news tonight made me sick…the end is certainly nigh… when nature is twisted and society accepts totally abnormal and anti natural (sic) behaviours in humans….
“Am I on my own feeling so disgusted at same sex marriage?”
Mr Gill yesterday insisted he was not homophobic.
He said: “At the end of the day everybody is entitled to their own view; it wasn’t homophobic and this is ridiculous.
“I have a same-sex couple working for me, and I wouldn’t have that if I was homophobic.
“I’m probably the most tolerant person going, I can’t deal with any racism or anything like that.” Officers are also looking into threatening comments posted in response to Mr Gill’s Facebook status towards him.
A Cumbria Police spokesman said: “Officers are looking into the comments Mr Gill has made and threats to him which were all posted on Facebook.
“They are looking at everything that was posted.”
Security guard Emma Price, 27, who proposed to her now fiancée Samantha McFarlane, 28, on Saturday night, said she was shocked by the comments.
Miss Price said: “I think it’s a bit irresponsible of him because of his business. I’m just shocked he would say it so publicly.
“Everyone has been fighting for this to happen so to say we are sick is just disgusting.
“It’s just not nice. I certainly won’t be going to his animal park again.
“I think he will have lost a lot of customers.”
Lee Wicks chairman of Friends and Supporters of the Furness LGBT, said: “I have been trying to calm people down. I have spoken to people who are outraged by it.
“I think what he said was wrong, but he’s entitled to his opinion. He’s fully entitled to his opinion, but it’s not going to be good for his business.
“People are already saying they’re not going to go there again and members of our LGBT group have now cancelled a summer trip there.”
David Gill, who has taken down his profile page and the zoo’s fan page, added: “The way I have been brought up, and a lot of other people my age, I believe it is abnormal for a man to marry a man, but that’s just my view. People have different views on a lot of things.
“I could probably have chosen my words better but there was absolutely no malice towards anyone. People don’t think through what they say on Facebook.
“I had just turned on my telly, and thought I didn’t want same-sex marriage in front of my face and in front of my kids.
“I have absolutely no discriminatory views about anybody anywhere.”
Gay and proud Nathan Lippitt, 21, of Barrow, said: “I thought David Gill’s words were utterly disgusting. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but people should keep it private, not on a public post on a popular social networking site,
“Not being able to marry somebody you love has now changed, and it’s amazing. Love is love.”