Anti-Gay Irish MP Quits Over Mental Illness

Northern Ireland member of Parliament Iris Robinson, June 2008:

“I have a very lovely psychiatrist who works with me in my offices and his Christian background is that he tries to help homosexuals trying to turn away from what they are engaged in. And I have met people who have turned around to become heterosexual. I do not need to put my hand into the fire to know I will get burned. Homosexuality is not natural. My Christian beliefs tell me that it is an abomination and that is very clear. It is an offence to God, an offensive act and something that God abhors.”

Iris Robinson, December 2009, announcing her resignation:

“I have battled against serious bouts of depression. Only those who have faced similar challenges in life will know the ordeal faced by those who are profoundly depressed and the distress caused to those around them as they grapple with personality changing illness. One in four of the population struggle with mental illnesses at one level or another yet few talk about it openly. When I am better able to do so, I want to say more about this period of my life. The stress and strain of public life comes at a cost and my health has suffered.”

After her 2008 remarks, a campaign was launched to charge Robinson with hate speech under the UK’s stringent laws regarding such comments. In June of this year, Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service announced that they were no longer pursuing the case.