Gay teacher says Mid Ulster councillor’s anti-gay words only ‘justify discrimination’

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A gay Mid Ulster teacher has accused a local DUP councillor of “justifying discrimination” with his recent comments about homosexuality.

Although not angry with Paul McLean for saying homosexuality should be not be legal, as everyone is entitled to an opinion, she said it was embarrassing that attitudes in Northern Ireland were more like those in Russia than England, on the issue.

The late Rev Ian Paisley with his son Kyle who has slammed Paul McLean's comments

The late Rev Ian Paisley with his son Kyle who has slammed Paul McLean's comments

And asked how her marriage to another woman could possibly affect him or anyone else in a negative way?

The 29-year-old woman, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said it is time the Northern Ireland Assembly caught up with the rest of the UK and passed a motion for marriage equality.

And instead of standing in the way of gay marriage, put their efforts into stopping drug dealers and paedophiles.

Calling on our political leaders to put things into perspective, she added: “It’s bad enough that I feel I must remain anonymous because of attitudes in the workplace, without that discrimination being justified in law.

“There’s not enough love in the world as it is,” she added, “the news is filled with war and hate crimes, why should anyone be persecuted for loving another person?”

She went on to say that Christianity also teaches us that having children out of wedlock is a sin, asking: “Should we make that illegal too and punish children for who they are, or do we embrace them and show them that the world can be a beautiful place?

“God taught that he will judge us all on the last day and it is not for men to judge - I think it’s time to put things in perspective.

“Racism, sectarianism, gender discrimination, ageism and homophobia are all outdated and equality should mean no-one is treated differently.

“It’s actually embarrassing people here would prefer to be more like Russia by making it illegal to be gay, than England.”

DUP leader Peter Robinson defended Paul McLean’s right to express his opinion on BBC show The View, adding: “I don’t think he’s wanting to throw anyone in prison. I would hope if it was illegal, people would obey the law.”

But party founder Ian Paisley’s son, Free Presbyterian Minister Kyle Paisley said “recent calls to jail homosexuals and make criminals of adulterers, betrays an ignorant zeal.”

Last week Stormont rejected a motion calling for the introduction of gay marriage in Northern Ireland after debating the issue for a fourth time. Four of the six Mid Ulster MLAs voted to pass it, with only the DUP and UUP politicians going against it.

Following the failed motion, a petition to the First and Deputy First Ministers calling for a referendum on marriage equality has gathered almost 18,000 signatures on change.org.