Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

Thu 31 May 2007 In: International News

A minister in the government of Northern Ireland has caused outrage with homophobic comments made in a magazine interview. Ian Paisley Jnr, who is the son of the Democratic Unionist First Minister, told Hotpress magazine that lesbians and gay men harm society. Mr Paisley, who was once dubbed the "baby dinosaur of the 21st century," has been criticised by UK gay equality organisation Stonewall. He was appointed a junior minister in the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister by his father only three weeks ago. He represents North Antrim in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Mr Paisley, 41, told the magazine: "I am, unsurprisingly, a straight person. "I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. I think that those people harm themselves and - without caring about it - harm society. "That doesn't mean to say that I hate them. I mean, I hate what they do." Stonewall's head of parliamentary and public affairs, Alan Wardle, commented: "The idea that gays and lesbians harm society is deeply offensive. "He is a disgrace making these comments when he is an elected politician representing all people and as a minister he should know better. "His language is deeply distressing not only to gay and lesbians but to right-thinking members of society. "If he made these comments about black or Asian people he would be hounded out of office." Mr Paisley Snr is head of the Free Presbyterian church, which he founded in 1951. He led a campaign against the decriminalisation of homosexuality called "Save Ulster From Sodomy.”     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Thursday, 31st May 2007 - 12:00pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us