Northern Ireland health minister and Democratic Unionist Party Assembly member Jim Wells has resigned after saying that children of gay parents are “more likely” to be abused or neglected
Northern Ireland health minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Assembly member Jim Wells has resigned after saying that children of gay parents are "more likely" to be abused or neglected, reports RTE.
Shortly after being appointed health minister last September, Wells started blocking LGBT and women's rights groups on Twitter.
Footage in which he says "facts show you certainly don't bring a child up in a homosexual relationship" was released following an election campaign event.
— Belfast Telegraph (@BelTel) April 24, 2015
"The events of the last week have taken place against the backdrop of a difficult period.
"On the issue of comments I have made which have attracted significant publicity, I have already said sorry for the offense caused and acknowledged that the comments were factually inaccurate.
"At no time did I set out to hurt or offend anyone and it has upset me greatly that the comments made have caused distress to some within our community.
"I am deeply saddened that some of those who represent a different viewpoint from me have attacked my family and me in a deeply personal, nasty and, in some cases, threatening way.
"Some of the outbursts on social media have been particularly abusive and menacing in nature."
Sinn Féin's Maeve McLaughlin said Wells’ position as health minister was "clearly untenable after his attack on the LGBT community, which was completely unacceptable from someone holding the position of health minister".
She also called on the DUP to end its opposition to "marriage equality, blood donations from gay men and adoption by gay couples".
Watch a report and Wells' original comments, AFTER THE JUMP…
Yesterday, the Northern Ireland Assembly rejected same-sex marriage legislation for the fourth time following the employment of a blocking mechanism by the DUP.