NI Health Minister Edwin Poots has defended his opposition to gay adoption and gay men donating blood in the Assembly today. Mr Poots denied he thought homosexuality was an illness, but said there were heterosexual men “who would desire lots of other folks. Those of us who are married shouldn’t be doing that. People can resist urges. And in terms of all of this I would just encourage people to take a sensible and rational view of these issues.”
“When it comes to adoption I’ve just come from an MLU, a Midwifery Lead Unit in Lagan Valley today and all of the people that were giving birth in that unit were women and all of those women would not have been impregnated by another woman.
“The natural order – whether one believes in God or whether one believes in evolution – is for a man and a woman to have a child and therefore that has made my views on adoption very clear and on raising children very clear, that it should be a man and a woman that raises a child.
“Now people can criticise me for that and they can challenge me for it and they can say it’s backward.
“The truth is that still today in this modern era it is only a man and a woman that can produce a child and therefore I think its in the best order for a man and a woman to raise a child.”
NI Health Minister Edwin Poots has failed in his attempt to challenge the British Supreme Court’s ruling to grant adoption to gay couples in Northern Ireland. Currently, a single gay or lesbian person can adopt in Northern Ireland but a couple in a civil partnership cannot.
The Health Minister has also tried to prevent gay people from becoming blood donors. An online petition calling for his resignation currently has almost 8,500 signatures.
(NI Health Minister Edwin Poots centre, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Health Minister James Reilly)
The [Northern Ireland] health minister is set to take his fight against the extension of adoption rights to Northern Ireland’s gay and unmarried couples to the UK’s highest court.
Edwin Poots has been given leave by the Court of Appeal to appeal a ruling that the current ban on gay and lesbian couples adopting is unlawful.
…At present, a single gay or lesbian person can adopt children in NI, but a couple in a civil partnership cannot. The Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) said the ruling would bring NI into line with the rest of the UK.
Rainbow Project director, John O’Doherty said they were disappointed with the minister’s decision. “Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have noted the practice of banning same-sex and unmarried couples from adopting is discriminatory,” he said. “Enough public money has been spent on this fool’s errand. The minister should focus his time on ensuring the best available homes for children in care in Northern Ireland.”