Northern Ireland

Edwin Poots defends stance on gay adoption

Media captionEdwin Poots said there were heterosexual men "who would desire lots of other folks".

Health Minister Edwin Poots has defended his opposition to gay adoption and gay men donating blood.

The minister also defended himself against allegations his views were "backward."

He was asked during assembly question time if he thought homosexuality was a treatable illness or an "abomination."

Mr Poots denied he thought homosexuality was an illness, but said there were heterosexual men "who would desire lots of other folks".

He added: "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."

Mr Poots was recently criticised by a High Court judge for his ban on gay blood while the Supreme Court refused to allow him to appeal the High Court decision to allow gay and unmarried couples to adopt.

He told the assembly that he knew there had been a number of challenges to him over "various stances I take" adding: "I make it very clear that in terms of blood safety that is purely about safety.

'Natural order'

"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."

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