A Facebook campaign to get the classic 80s track ‘It’s Raining Men’ to the top of the charts has been deluged with support following a Ukip councillor claiming the legalisation of same-sex marriage was to blame for the recent floods.
Party member David Silvester, a councillor in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, was suspended from the party after claiming that being gay was a “spiritual disease” and that the country had been “beset by storms” since the passing of the gay marriage bill.
In a letter to his local newspaper, The Henley Standard, he warned British PM David Cameron against passing the bill, adding: “This is not new, this happened in the Old Testament – they were warned if they turned against God there would be pestilence, there would be war, there would be disasters."
Since then, a torrent of derision has flooded social media channels, with a twitter account solely devoted to UKIP weather forecasts tweeting updates like “David Silvester has started to question his faith following the appearance of a rainbow over Henley-on-Thames” to its 100,000 followers.
Now a Facebook campaign ‘Get it’s raining men to Number 1’ has garnered over 5,000 supporters. They have chosen the Weather Girls' hit 'It’s raining men', because: “For decades now, this song has been used as a gay anthem, we thought it fitted all the better based on UKIP's comments regarding storms and floods being caused by LGBT people and Gay marriage.
"Let's get 'It's Raining Men' to Number 1 to show the power and community of gay people pulling together is stronger than his idiotic views of us, as well as also celebrating the new laws being passed on equal marriage in the UK very soon.”
They are asking supporters to start downloading the track from next Monday (27th January) because this will mean it has a chance to be Number 1 before the laws change in England and “will show support to all LGBT people in Wales, Scotland & Ireland with their own parliamentary debates for the law to be change too.”
The single has not yet appeared in the Irish or UK download charts, but the campaign is still in its infancy. The campaign has the support of Ireland's Marriage Equality director Andrew Hyland.
"I haven’t seen the campaign, but anything that brings some humour to a nasty comment trying to associate floods with same sex marriage is definitely a good thing," he said.
"I think the vast majority of people know those kind of claims are quite ludicrous and in some ways, kind of hilarious."
In a comment piece for the Independent on Sunday, Nigel Farage explained why David Silvester was suspended from the party, writing: “ We cannot have one person using the party name to promote their own controversial views. I think the floods were caused by the weather and not by gay people, man-made climate change, or an increase in the consumption of hollandaise sauce in Bedfordshire.”
However it has not stopped a number of spoofs continuing to amuse netizens.
Student Nicholas Pegg's created a parody of BBC Radio 4's shipping forecast warning of “rain, moderate, or gay” and “homophobic outburst, back-peddling westerly and becoming untenable”.
A Daily Mash article headlined 'Married gays to tour drought-hit countries' was still trending widely on Tuesday morning.