A former senior DUP figure has lamented what he sees as the party’s softening of its position towards homosexuality.
The Rev Ivan Foster, a retired Free Presbyterian minister who was a DUP Assemblyman during the 1980s, said he believed that the party was no longer as firmly opposed to homosexuality as it had been when it led the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign in the late 1970s.
He was speaking after DUP Health Minister Jim Wells resigned over gay remarks he made at an election hustings meeting last week.
The Kilskeery cleric was a close ally of the late Ian Paisley’s for decades before denouncing his former friend for going into government with Sinn Fein in 2007.
Last night the Rev Foster described homosexuality as a “vile sin” and added: “In the light of God’s Word, no Christian could ever sanction the raising of children within a sodomite relationship nor ought they to hesitate saying so, and most certainly ought not to apologise for such sentiments, irrespective of party rules, public opinion or the impact of such views upon an election result.”
He described the DUP’s current stance as a “sad development” and added: “Robinson’s declaration is not surprising given his willingness to go back on his declared position on Sinn Fein/IRA and unite with them in a power-sharing government.
“However, I am saddened to see Jim Wells make that statement of repudiation, doubtless as a result of pressure from various quarters and at a time of vulnerability due to his wife’s severe illness.
“Were his words in Downpatrick so dreadful, so wrong? In the light of God’s Word I don’t believe they were.”
The Rev Foster suggested that “the greatest of all abuse of a child is that which deprives it of peace with God, of forgiveness of sin, of heaven” and that a gay couple or a heterosexual couple who are not Christians would be “committing this same dreadful abuse of the children”.