Ian Paisley Jnr
Mr Paisley was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim from 1998 until 2010 when he stepped down from the position.
Views on Homosexuality
In a May 2007 interview with Hot Press magazine Mr Paisley was quoted as saying:
- "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."
In June 2007 it was reported that he had rejected calls for an apology, stating:
- "What is done is done, I've said those comments why should I try and hide what I've done."
In 2012 Mr Paisley, like all the other DUP MPs, signed the Coalition for Marriage petition which stated:
- "I support the legal definition of marriage which is the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others. I oppose any attempt to redefine it."
The Coalition for Marriage describes itself as "an umbrella group of individuals and organisations ... backed by politicians, lawyers, academics and religious leaders". They are supported by the Evangelical Alliance and former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, and have connections with other Christian groups.
The group claims it "draws upon a substantial body of evidence". However, science and evidence-based politics blogger Martin Robbins described their argument as "confused, irrational and ultimately self-defeating".
In May 2011 Mr Paisley voted in favour of Nadine Dorries' Sex Education (Required Content) "10 minute" Bill. The Bill stated that "such education must include information and advice on the benefits of abstinence from sexual activity". It was criticised for only applying to sex education for girls, not boys, with critics also pointing to evidence that abstinence-only sex education (which does not necessarily lead to abstinence itself) does not protect young people from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (although this was not a bill advocating abstinence-only sex education, it would have meant that the only required elements of sex education would be basic information on reproduction, plus this new content on abstinence, with further content being up to the individual school). The Bill passed its first reading by 67 votes to 61, but had little chance of becoming law and was withdrawn in January 2012 shortly before its second reading.
Libel Law Reform
Mr Paisley spoke eleven times during the June 2012 debate on the Defamation Act: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2012-06-12b.177.0
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