The DUP councillor who caused outrage by claiming that Hurricane Katrina was sent as a punishment from God back in 2005 was last night remaining tight-lipped after New Orleans was hit again.
Ballymena Mayor Maurice Mills refused to elaborate on his views as Hurricane Gustav battered the the US Gulf Coast, just three years after Katrina devastated the southern Louisiana area.
In 2005, Mr Mills said the natural disaster — which killed at least 1,800 people, caused vast flooding and left tens of thousands homeless — was an act of God against those who practice sodomy.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the veteran DUP man refused to say whether his hard-line stance has changed, or if he thought the inhabitants of the US city were being punished yet again.
“The elements are in the hands of God,” he said.
“I’m leaving it there. I don’t want to say anything else about it.”
Back in 2005, Mr Mills pointed out that the huge storm arrived just days before revellers were due to gather in New Orleans to celebrate the annual ‘gay mardi gras’.
“The recent Hurricane Katrina descended on New Orleans and took many people suddenly into eternity,” he said.
“However, the media failed to report that the hurricane occurred just two days prior to the annual homosexual event called the Southern Decadence Festival which the previous year had attracted an estimated 125,000 people.
“Surely this is a warning to nations where such wickedness is increasingly promoted and practiced.
“This abominable and filthy practice of sodomy has resulted in the great continent of Africa being riddled with Aids, all at great cost to the nations and innocent children.”
At the time, Northern Ireland gay rights campaigners said he should be sacked. But he said: “This is me as an individual taking a stand for God.”