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jim wells

NI Health Minister draws links between gay relationships and child abuse

The MLA has since withdrawn his comments and apologised.

NORTHERN IRELAND’S MINISTER for Health has said that children brought up by parents in a same-sex relationship are “far more likely” to be subject to abuse.

Speaking at a hustings event yesterday evening in his constituency of South Down, Wells said that the mistreatment of children could arise from the unstable nature of same-sex relationships.

On this, the DUP MLA said:

The facts show that certainly you don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. The child is far more likely to be abused and neglected… a child is far more likely to be abused or neglected in a non-stable marriage.

The Minister’s comments led to a substantial backlash on social media, with attention being drawn to a potential coalition or voting pact between the DUP and the Conservative Party following the UK general election. 

Wells has subsequently issued an apology for his comments.

In a statement to the BBC this morning, Wells has said that, “I had just come from a hospital visit and my focus was not on the debate… during the event I received several messages from the hospital.”

I have listened to a recording of the relevant part of the debate. I accept that one line of what I said caused offence and deep concern amongst members of the audience and beyond. I regret having wrongly made that remark about abuse and I’m sorry those words were uttered. The comment did not reflect my view nor that of my party.

Read: Masked men burst into house and attack occupant with baseball bats 

Also: Boys, aged 7 and 9, hospitalised after serious road collision 

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