It really is amazing what gems you hear on Radio Ulster. From BBCNI:
A gay rights campaigner has rejected a Northern Ireland assembly member’s call for homosexuals to seek psychiatric counselling.
David McCartney from the Rainbow Project was responding to comments from Iris Robinson, who is the chair of the Stormont health committee.
Mrs Robinson said with help, gay people could be “turned around”.
Mr McCartney said there was “no body of evidence” to support this and asked to meet the MP.
Mrs Robinson made her comments on BBC Radio Ulster’s Nolan Show on Friday.
She said she would defend her right to express religious beliefs, while also condemning violence against the gay community.
“I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals – trying to turn away from what they are engaged in,” she said.
“I’m happy to put any homosexual in touch with this gentleman and I have met people who have turned around and become heterosexuals.”
It’s unfortunate for Iris that this follows hot on the heels of yet another horrific gay-bashing incident, this time in Newtownabbey. She has voiced the appropriate condemnation, but maybe not the best time to hold forth on the possibilities of “fixing” gay people. As for the efficacy of Christian teachings turning gays straight, the considerable number of closeted gays in the DUP raises a question mark over that.
Interesting to note that not only is Iris chair of the Stormont health committee, and the wife of our new prime minister, but she’s also a Westminster MP. That is to say, a member of one of the most gay-friendly parliaments in the world. Mind you, the DUP do tend to tone it down when they’re in the metropolis. It’s back here in Norn Iron that we get the uncut version.