Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 November 2014

Iris Robinson: gays more vile than child abusers

Strangford MP Iris Robinson: Insisted her comments were not made out of hatred
Iris and Peter Robinson
Back in the saddle: Iris Robinson MP MLA by a hazard sign in Comber to alert drivers to horses and riders. All too often these signs are being ignored, putting lives in danger, says Mrs Robinson. She has called for improved facilities for horses and riders on local roads

Iris Robinson has walked into her biggest controversy yet after stating in Parliament that homosexuality is “viler” than child sex abuse, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today.

The First Minister’s wife made the controversial comments in the House of Commons in front of Policing and Justice Minister Paul Goggins and a committee of UK MPs during a debate on the assessment and management of sex offenders.

Speaking about community concerns over sex offenders Mrs Robinson then stated: “There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”

Her comments have not been omitted from a written transcript of the debate which has been published on the Parliament website.

When contacted by the Belfast Telegraph Mrs Robinson said she stood by her views and stated that homosexuality was “comparable” to child sex abuse.

“Let’s look at it. Can you think of anything more vile than man and man or woman and woman and sexually abusing children? What I say I base on biblical pronouncements, based on God’s word. I am amazed that people are surprised when I quote from scriptures. It shows the churches either aren’t preaching God’s word or are watering it down,” she said.

Mrs Robinson added: “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 then said that her comments were not made out of hate.

“I am trying to reach out to people. I try to reach out and love them. That is what Christ teaches us. He wants us to help all people and give them an opportunity. We all have the opportunity to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Anything I say is out of love. I am not hate-mongering. I cannot leave my Christian values hanging at the door when I go into politics.

“I am speaking out more now because we are getting it more and more rammed down our throats that the minority views are more important than the majority views. I am not trying to alienate anyone. Anyone can come to me with any problems. I do not turn anyone away.

“I would never water down anything with the scriptures and I don’t think I should. I find it (the controversy over her comments) amazing, if not unexpected, as these days Christians are persecuted for their views but that will not stop me. There will be a judgement day and when I am judged I want to know that I did all I could to spread the word of God.”

Mrs Robinson’s comments, which were made on June 18, were last night slammed as being “cruel”, “frighteningly ignorant” and “alarmingly misinformed”, by the Gay Rights Association.

Association member PA MagLochlainn said: “She is entitled to her own personal feelings and I defend her right to freedom of speech but she cannot make these sort of comments. They show an alarming degree of misunderstanding and misinformation.

“She is being very irresponsible making these sort of cruel and frighteningly ignorant comments.

“We feel that a responsible MLA would be glad to listen to our views and she should meet with the health professionals who work in the gay and lesbian sector instead of making wild and totally unscientific statements.

“Iris Robinson is in a hole and we say she should stop digging.”

Mrs Robinson's comments were made two weeks after she sparked serious controversy when she said that homosexuals should seek psychiatric counselling.

She told a radio show that with help, gay people could be “turned around”.

A few days later she denied she ever indicated homosexuality was a mental health issue but repeated her view that homosexuality is an abomination. She came under fire again on Thursday when she stated that it was the government’s job to enforce God’s law.



In her own words...Iris Robinson to Parliament

“We all agree that few issues arouse as much interest or concern in the community as that of sex offenders. The sentences served and their subsequent placement back in the community cause considerable disquiet among the public. There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children. There must be sufficient confidence that the community has the best possible protection against such perverts and it is important that there be a mature public debate on the issues, but the security of our citizens must be our overriding priority.”

Iris Robinson to Belfast Telegraph

“Can you think of anything more vile than man and man or woman and woman and sexually abusing children? What I say I base on biblical pronouncements, based on God’s word. I am amazed that people are surprised when I quote from scriptures ... 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. ... I am trying to reach out to people. That is what Christ teaches us ... Anything I say is out of love. I am not hate-mongering. I cannot leave my Christian values hanging at the door when I go into politics. I am speaking out more now because we are getting it more and more rammed down our throats that the minority views are more important than the majority views. I am not trying to alienate anyone ... I do not turn anyone away. I would never water down anything with the scriptures and I don’t think I should. I find it amazing, if not unexpected, as these days Christians are persecuted for their views but that will not stop me. There will be a judgement day and when I am judged I want to know that I did all I could to spread the word of God.”

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