IRIS Robinson MP’s adviser, Dr Paul Miller, has resigned over the whole “homosexuality can be cured” thing.
Absurd though the very idea sounds, it has some support, particularly in the evangelical Christian community. I recall years ago having an argument with a friend (who was a girl, but not my girlfriend, just for the record) who had decided to go out with a gay Christian bloke who had taken part in a course for “converting” gay men to straight ones. This friend insisted her boyfriend was now straight, but that even if he was unfaithful to her, provided it was with a man and not a woman, then she wouldn’t count that as a betrayal (because gay sex wasn’t “proper”. presumably).
But homosexuality isn’t a mental condition and you can’t change someone’s orientation through therapy, I told her. I added: “Now, Tories, that’s a different matter…” (I didn’t actually say that bit).
For some Christians, the issue goes to the heart of their faith: if the Bible says homosexuality is sinful (and I’m not going to get into that one here), then surely a righteous God must have given us a choice as to whether or not to be gay? So being gay is a lifestyle choice, right? Er, wrong.
Nevertheless, Iris is accountable to her constituents in Strangford and it’s up to them to decide whether or not her comments about homosexuality are acceptable to them. Attempts to persuade the prime minister to reprimand her were never going to be successful; the fact is, individuals – including MPs – have the right to hold, and express, offensive opinions (otherwise this blog would have had it…).
* “When you’re with the Flintstones
you’ll have a yabba dabba doo time.
A dabba doo time.
You’ll have a gay old time.”