Iris Robinson reported to police over child abuse comments

Tony Grew July 31, 2008
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A Northern Irish MP has been reported to police after she compared homosexual acts to the sexual abuse of children.

Gay rights activist Andrew Muir made a formal statement to police in the province regarding Iris Robinson’s comments to the Belfast Telegraph earlier this month.

It is his second complaint to police about Mrs Robinson.

In June Mr Muir, the vice chair of Gay and Lesbian across Down, reported Mrs Robinson for stirring up hatred and arousing fear as a result of comments she made in a Radio Ulster interview.

On that occasion she said that she regards homosexuality as vile, wicked and an abomination.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph earlier this month Mrs Robinson, who is married to the First Minister of Northern Ireland and is chair of the local Assembly’s health committee, said:

“I cannot think of anything more sickening than a child being abused. It is comparable to the act of homosexuality. I think they are all comparable. I feel totally repulsed by both.”

Mr Muir told police that Mrs Robinson has contravened the Article 9 of the Public Order (NI) Order 1987 by using threatening, abusive or insulting words which have the likelihood to stir up hatred and arouse fear.

“It is with great regret that I have felt it necessary to make another police statement concerning the MP for Strangford,” he told

“Freedom of speech is important but people must respect rather than abuse this human right.

“I feel threatened, abused, insulted and fearful because Mrs Robinson compared homosexuality to child abuse which is illegal and, I believe, grossly offensive and fundamentally wrong.

“History is littered with examples of how people accused of child abuse have been treated by others.

“Only recently was an Edinburgh resident kicked unconscious because his attackers wrongly thought he was a paedophile.

“The father-of-two lost two pints of blood after a brutal attack by a gang of thugs.

“To align homosexuality with child abuse is both reprehensible and extremely dangerous.”

Mr Muir called on Mrs Robinson to apologise for her remarks.

Fellow Democratic Unionist politicians have backed her.

Sammy Wilson, an MP and Northern Ireland’s environment minister said that his colleague is being harassed by the media and is entitled to express her views.

“We believe Christian values should be upheld in our society,” he told the BBC.~

Gregory Campbell MP also claimed the media is picking on Mrs Robinson.

“Whatever you say about the gay rights camp, they do have rights and they are protected in law,” he told the Londonderry Sentinel.

“I and my colleagues are in favour of upholding the law. Homosexuals have rights and so do heterosexuals.

“One of our rights is to say that they are wrong. I view that as an inalienable right.

“If there is a campaign I would suggest it is not Iris Robinson’s but of those who seek to generate controversy regardless of who has made the comments or when.”

While the DUP back Mrs Robinson, a Sinn Fein member of the Northern Ireland Assembly has suggested she seek professional help.

“Iris seems to be constantly obsessed with the gay and lesbian community,” said Martina Anderson.

“I think she should seek a quiet moment to sit down and talk to somebody herself.

“She seems to be displaying all the characteristics of someone under severe pressure and she should take herself away and sort out her life.”

More than 13,000 people have already signed a petition on the Downing St website asking the Prime Minister to reprimand Mrs Robinson.

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