Health Minister Edwin Poots finds himself in another storm of political controversy over his views on homosexuality.Interestingly, Mr Poots began his latest tirade by imploring people to “take a sensible and rational view on these issues”. Incredulously, he then proceeded to espouse some of the most insensible and irrational views on the topic I’ve witnessed to date. Alas, an achievement in itself.
Let’s begin with his comment about sexual desire. In Mr Poots infinitesimal mind, homosexuality is no more than a sexual urge, akin to a heterosexual man’s lust for other women. The corollary, then, is that if he - as a married man - can resist his heterosexual urges, there’s no reason why other men cannot resist homosexual urges. Yes, Edwin, I’m sure you’re cursed with restraining those sexual desires of yours for the myriad of women who surely lust after you. Cynicism aside, this comment is inherently ignorant about the nature of homosexuality. Could Mr Poots restrain his sexual urge for women altogether? Because this is what he asks of homosexual men when he demands that they do not act upon their sexual urges.
Just when I was convinced his ignorance had no bounds, he proved me wrong (again). His ensuing comments only got worse. Much worse. As if in support of his argument, Mr Poots goes on to inform us that, having just come from a midwife led unit in Lagan Valley, “all the people giving birth in that unit were woman and all of those women would not have been impregnated by another woman”. Just pause for a moment, and read that quotation again. No, I didn’t just quote your curious three year old - that was the incumbent Health Minister, confirming for us that only women can give birth. This, via some warped and obscure reasoning, leads Mr Poots to the bizarre conclusion that homosexual couples should not be able to adopt. Just because two men cannot create a child, it does not follow that they cannot love, care for and raise a child. To insinuate anything else is patronising, condescending, and quite frankly offensive.
Then, as if on cue, Mr Poots plays that old trump card - religion. “Whether one believes in God or evolution” (wait, so people can’t believe in both?), “the natural order is for a man and a woman to have a child”. In Mr Poots (partial) defence, this is an argument frequently espoused - and not always just by those as imbecilic as the Health Minister. Despite popular belief, it is scientifically documented that homosexuality is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom. Indeed, homosexual behavior has been observed in over 450 different animal species worldwide. Perhaps Mr Poots would care to enlighten biologists how this could possibly be the case, if not part of the “natural order” (a horribly nebulous phrase to use, by the way). And if Mr Poots does wish to resort to religion to support his argument, will he then stand by the biblical view of homosexuality? For the avoidance of doubt, let’s just recite what the Bible has to say on the matter: “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Leviticus 20:13 This verse and those who subscribe to it are the abomination - not homosexuals.
While the tone of this article may be sardonic, and the comments articulated by Mr Poots somewhat comical, there is a seriousness here that cannot be overlooked or jested at. As Health Minister, the antiquated views of Mr Poots are helping shape law and policy in important areas like marriage, adoption and blood donation. This individual, with respect, has demonstrated that he is not fit for political office. I implore you to sign this petition for his resignation.