Watch: NI First Minister Peter Robinson makes homophobic comments on TV

Nick Duffy May 1, 2015
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Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson has defended a DUP councillor who has called for homosexuality to be made illegal.

The Democratic Unionist Party leader was challenged while appearing on the BBC about comments made by councillor Paul McLean, who claimed last week that being gay should be criminalised.

However, instead of condemning the councillor, Peter Robinson said he was “entitled to that opinion” – before appearing to suggest that people should stop being gay in countries where it is illegal.

He said of the councillor: “Absolutely. He’s entitled to that opinion… but that’s not the DUP policy. That isn’t our policy.

“In terms of individuals and their sexual orientation, it is a matter entirely for themselves.”

“It is not my role or the role of any politician to peer through the bedroom and

When asked whether he will discipline the councillor, Mr Robinson said: “He’s entitled to his views, you’re entitled to your views.

When the host questioned why he is entitled to suggest gay people should be thrown in prison, Mr Robinson said: “I don’t think he’s wanting to throw anyone into prison. I would hope that if it was illegal, people would obey the law.”

When asked if that means he’d like people to stop being homosexual if it becomes illegal, he said: “I do, I do believe that people should obey the law.”

DUP Health Minister Jim Wells was forced to resign earlier this month after he claimed that gay parents were more likely to abuse children.

Mr Robinson had defended the minister at the time, claiming he was having a bad day.

The DUP leader is no stranger to homophobia himself – with his wife Iris Robinson claiming previously that gay peopel are more “vile” than people who sexually abusing children.

DUP founder Dr Ian Paisley launched the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign to lobby against the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1977. He died last year.

Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to rule out a coalition with the DUP.

This month, the DUP blocked same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland for a fourth time. The party continues to oppose equality for same-sex couples.

Related topics: Anti-gay, comments, democratic unionist party, DUP, Equality, first minister, Gay, Homophobia, LGBT, Northern Ireland, Peter Robinson, Rights

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