DUP MP and MLP Iris Robinson is now comparing gay people with murderers. Don’t believe me? Watch the video – I nearly died of laughter! With the way she’s going it’s hardly surprising that she’s now got a second police complaint levelled against her. She’s also got Peter Tatchell and Outrage! wound up enough to target the Democratic Unionist Party, (apparently not for the first time). Sinn Féin assembly members are trying to get her to resign as Chair of Stormont’s health committee, and now her husband, the new First Minister has had to defend her, saying:
“There is a legal obligation to ensure that no-one in our society is discriminated against,” he said.
“I have to say that even if there was no legal obligation I would be at the forefront defending anyone who was being discriminated against.”
And I know my colleague the member for Strangford (Mrs Robinson) would be alongside me in that.”
He has little choice but to say that, considering his office is responsible for implementing and safeguarding equality legislation in Northern Ireland. His colleague Jeffrey Donaldson however has other ideas. He said Mrs Robinson was entitled to express her views:
“This is a country where people have freedom of speech,” he said.
It’s almost as mystifying as Mrs Robinson keeping her job as Chair of the health committee, but Donaldson is an executive junior minister responsible for equality. He seems conveniently unaware that there’s never been such thing as unrestricted freedom of speech, and for him to suggest that what she’s spouting is justifiable on any grounds makes a mockery of both his office, and his boss’ protestations to be standing up for equality. It’s hardly surprising though, Donaldson is almost as mad as she is.
It’s back to the collision of rights issue again isn’t it, perhaps again an inevitable result of the diversity and equality agenda. Gay people and religious people are all protected under the law, so how do you make equality actually work when there are competing claims over rights? As a fundamentalist theist Mrs Robinson must know that there’s hardly a ‘witchhunt against Christians speaking out’ – her entire society is fundamentally founded on a basis of devout Christianity. The point of equality legislation though is to level the playing field, which is never welcomed by those who’ve enjoyed and/or abused their disproportionate power and representation in the past. As an MP she’s doing a bad job and quite rightly deserves the increasing anger and police complaints; as a member of her husband’s government though, she really must face the sack. Likening gay people to murderers, and complaining that her argument isn’t open to criticism because it’s the ‘Word of God’ isn’t remotely compatible with standing up for equality…
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