Eastwood: Wells must withdraw hate filled remarks

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood
SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood has called on Health Minister to immediately withdraw remarks he made at a hustings event where he referred to children raised in a home with gay parents being more likely to be abused.

Mr Eastwood said: “I was appalled to hear reports of the comments made by Health Minister Jim Wells at a hustings event.

“Not satisfied with his already robust opposition to equality for those who define as LGBT, Mr Wells has gone far beyond the limits of acceptable behaviour. To suggest that children raised by gay parents are more likely to be abused is a baseless slur on an entire community.

“The Minister must immediately withdraw these comments and issue a full apology to those who he has seriously wronged tonight. His track record on equality for the LGBT community is there for all to see. From describing gay pride as ‘repugnant’ to spending thousands of pounds of public money on defending the ban on gay men donating blood, he has allowed his own bias to infect his decision making and taint his judgment.

“We have thousands of children in care, many of whom have suffered abuse. Many LGBT couples want to provide a loving and supportive environment for raising children. By making such serious and unfounded allegations Minister Wells will have dissuaded many from adopting. He should be ashamed of himself and must immediately resile from the remarks.”