Homophobic assault victim calls on Iris to resign

Tony Grew June 11, 2008
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The man whose assault sparked the ongoing controversy surrounding Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson has said he “will not rest” until she resigns.

Stephen Scott was set upon in Newtownabbey, near Belfast, last Wednesday by three youths in what police describe as a homophobic attack.

In an interview with BBC Radio Ulster on Friday Mrs Robinson, who is married to the First Minister of Northern Ireland, said she condemned the attack but that she could put gay people in touch with a psychiatrist who can “cure” them.

“Iris Robinson condemned my attackers which is very kind of her, but at the same time she condemned me for being gay,” Mr Scott told the Newtownabbey Times.

“She basically suggested that gay people need psychiatric help, but I’d like her to show me where in the Bible it actually says that because that is wrong.”

In an interview with the BBC today Mr Scott said:

“I certainly will not rest until she stands down for what she’s done, because she’s made my life hell since her comments.”

Police are investigating whether Mrs Robinson has broken incitement laws with her comments on Radio Ulster that homosexuality is vile, wicked and an abomination.

Her husband Peter Robinson, who last week took charge of the coalition Northern Ireland Executive, has said that he is committed to his legal obligations to fight discrimination.

The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister is tasked with ensuring equality for gay people in Northern Ireland.

Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein deputy First Minister, said:

“Comments that cause harm and distress to any section of our community are inappropriate and she should reflect fully on the impact that her comments will have.

“Everyone has a responsibility to protect and promote the rights of all our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation. Sinn Fein will not be deflected in ensuring this legal responsibility is upheld.”

Mrs Robinson claimed she is the victim of a “witch hunt” after police launched an investigation.

Meanwhile a patient of the psychiatrist who claims he can cure gay people has given an interview where he explains how he became a heterosexual.

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