Current Affairs

Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson cleared over homophobic “abomination” comments

PinkNews Staff Writer July 1, 2009
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Iris Robinson, the Democratic Unionist Party MP who described homosexuality as an “abomination”, has been cleared of any wrongdoing over her comments.

The MP for Strangford made the remarks on an Ulster radio show last year and also told the Belfast Telegraph that homosexuality was “comparable” to paedophilia.

She told the radio show that homosexuality was a mental illness and could be “cured”.

In a report obtained by the News Letter, assembly ombudsman Tom Frawley said: “This case does not warrant any further action in terms of the [assembly] code.”

The report is expected to be presented to the Standards and Privileges Committee today.

Frawley said he had asked Radio Ulster for transcripts of the interviews, saying: “Much of the language that gave rise to the complaint was introduced to the discussion by the interviewer rather than by Mrs Robinson.”

He added: “Effectively she was asked if she agreed with the dictionary definition of particular words and language that is used in the Bible in relation to homosexuality.

“Mrs Robinson made it clear in her first interview of June 6th that comments she had made in a previous discussion in which it appears she described homosexuality as an ‘abomination’ were, ‘scriptural, and what I clarified it with was very very clear that my Christian belief teaches me that you love the sinner and hate the sin and that goes right across every type of sin’.”

Responding to the report, Robinson told the newspaper she would wait for today’s outcome before commenting but added: “People know and understand that I was asked to make a comment on my religious beliefs and I did so. It was never my intention to cause hurt or offence to any person. The complaints that were levelled in my direction were quite clearly politically-motivated.”

In March, Robinson escaped a police prosecution for her anti-gay comments. A police spokesman said the Police Service was satisfied that no offence had been committed.

Related topics: Northern Ireland

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