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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

Former MP who called gay relationships 'deviant' loses party whip

Ulster Unionist Ken Maginnis said homosexual relationships were a “rung on the ladder” towards “bestiality”.

Ken Maginnis pictured in 2001 as he resigned his seat
Ken Maginnis pictured in 2001 as he resigned his seat
Image: Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A FORMER ULSTER Unionist MP has lost the party whip after describing homosexuality as “unnatural and deviant”.

Lord Ken Maginnis, who represented Fermanagh and South Tyrone at Westminster for almost 20 years and now sits in the UK’s House of Lords, was appearing on a radio discussion last week.

He told the Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster that gay relationships were a “rung on the ladder” towards “bestiality”, and asked: “Does that mean that every deviant practice has to be accommodated?”

Magennis was speaking in opposition to proposals to give marriage rights to same-sex couples. He called gay marriage “unnatural and deviant behaviour”.

Party leader Mike Nesbitt met Maginnis over the weekend after the comments caused controversy, and withdrew the party whip, the BBC reports.

Maginnis called the move a “shallow, meaningless gesture”.

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Michael Freeman

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