Gay man ‘reported to police’ for questioning MP Iris Robinson’s views
Iris Robinson, the Northern Ireland MP who called homosexuality an “abomination”, reportedly had a constituent questioned by police after he challenged her views.
The openly gay professional man, who did not want to be be named, said he requested a meeting with her last November after she compared homosexuality to paedophilia and said it could be “cured”.
He told the Irish News he received a visit from a detective several weeks after the meeting. The officer said Robinson, a Democratic Unionist MP had accused him of calling her a Nazi.
Robinson was the subject of a police investigation over her remarks, made in newspapers and on the radio. In July, she was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The unnamed man said he began the meeting by saying his lifestyle posed no risk to her or anyone else and asked if she thought she should be pursuing more important issues.
He described her as “polite and courteous” until he suggested her policies were similar to fascist regimes at the beginning of World War Two, saying she became “very heated”.
The meeting ended soon after this. He was interviewed by a detective several weeks later over the “Nazi” allegation.
“I spent the next few months waiting with anticipation on the outcome. It was incredibly stressful,” he said.
“I’ve been open about my sexuality since I was 17 and it’s never hindered me privately or professionally in any way – but by challenging an elected representative about her views I’ve been made to feel like a criminal.”
The Public Prosecution Service has decided the man has no case to answer.
A Democratic Unionist Party spokesman said: “Mrs Robinson’s office deals with thousands of cases each year, offering a first-class constituency service to all who seek help.
“The overwhelming majority of cases and meetings are dealt with and resolved satisfactorily.
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“It was unfortunate that in one case Mrs Robinson and her staff felt so threatened by a constituent during a meeting that they felt the police should be involved.
“It is hoped that no elected representative, whilst working on behalf of their constituents, is put in a similar position again.”
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last summer, Robinson 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.”
She also suggested that there are therapies to “cure” people of homosexuality, saying: “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.
“And I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual.”
Shortly after her outburst, Robinson’s son Gareth was photographed kissing a man and sitting on his knee at a Belfast party.
Related topics: Northern Ireland