Ian Paisley Jr., an assembly member for the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland and son of the party’s founder, is under pressure to apologize for remarks he made to Hotpress magazine about gays and lesbians.
Said Paisley, Jr: “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.”
It’s not the first time Paisley Jr. has expressed his disgust for gay people. upon hearing that Irish politico David Trimble’s aide Steven King had married his partner in Canada, Paisley Jr. said, “It is really astounding that David Trimble should have had a man such as this giving him advice – and must surely cast grave doubts on his own political judgment. I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious.”
Sinn Féin representatives have called on Paisley to apologize. Said MLA Martina Anderson: “Ian Paisley Jr should withdraw these comments and apologise. The fact is that comments such as this cause great harm and distress. They feed into the attitudes that fester and lead to homophobic violence.”