LGBT Greens are disappointed with the lack of action taken against Iris Robinson MP, who caused outrage by claiming that homosexuality could be “cured” and comparing it to child abuse.
Despite an overwhelming response to the petition put on the Prime Minister’s website calling him to reprimand the Ulster Democratic Unionist, no action has been taken.
“While to some degree of course LGBT Greens respect the autonomy of the decisions of the Northern Irish Assembly, the latest decision to not publicly challenge one of the most outspoken homophobic Members of Parliament can not go without comment,” Phelim Mac Cafferty said on behalf of LGBT Greens.
“The petition received almost 16,000 signatories which for a petition set up only a matter of weeks ago is phenomenal.
“It is also clear from the petition that many Northern Irish and Northern Irish diaspora have signed the petition, which along with the strong reaction against Iris Robinson at Belfast Pride suggest that straight as well as LGBT people are repulsed by her bigotry.
“Without much fuss, Brown can make clear that the opinions expressed by Robinson are intolerable.
“While his response states that there’s legislation to deal with homophobia he has missed an opportunity to insist that the law-makers should be among the first to practice what they preach.
“Would Brown idly stand by and allow racist MPs to carry on unchallenged? I doubt it.
“So why is he allowing homophobes to get away with broadcasting their hatred?
“This is a Member of parliament whose homophobia seems to know no bounds, someone who in the aftermath of a serious homophobic attack decided to talk of homosexuality as ‘vile’, ‘disgusting’, ‘nauseating’ and ‘an abomination’.”
Mrs Robinson claimed on BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show in June that homosexuality can be cured.
She cited the work of her adviser, psychiatrist Dr Paul Miller, as an example.
She said: “I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in.
“I am happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual.”
Dr Miller has since resigned.
Mrs Robinson caused further uproar in July, when it has emerged that during committee proceedings in the Commons last month, she told MPs:
“There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”