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Northern Irish politician resigns after saying gay sex is like bestiality

Lord Maginnis quits the Ulster Unionist Party after he was reprimanded for homophobic remarks
Lord Maginnis has resigned after being reprimanded for his remarks comparing gay sex to bestiality.

A Northern Irish politician has resigned after comparing homosexuality to bestiality.

The Belfast Telegraph reports Lord Maginnis quit the Ulster Unionist Party today (28 August) after having been a member for 50 years. He said he had ‘agonized’ over the decision in the last three months.

On BBC Northern Ireland's Stephen Nolan show in June 2011, Maginnis said he was opposed to gay marriage because it was ‘unnatural’ and he did not believe society should ‘have imposed on it something that is unnatural’.

He said: ‘Does that mean that every deviant practice has to be accommodated? Will the next thing be that we legislate for some sort of bestiality?’

The 74-year-old later stood by his remarks, saying people who committed ‘unnatural physical acts’ as deviants.

He added: ‘These are people that seem to take some pride expressing their particular rights.

‘I disagree with those rights and that deviance.’

Party leader Mike Nesbitt and senior party members were embarrassed by the homophobic attack, and removed Maginnis from the party whip.

In a short statement, the UUP said at the time: ‘Lord Maginnis was speaking in a personal capacity without our knowledge or permission, and his comments do not reflect Ulster Unionist Party policy.’

From comments made by Nesbitt, it appears it was never intended that Maginnis would resign.

Nesbitt said: ‘He was the sort of progressive Unionist I admire. I regret we will not have access to his experience and expertise as we move to rebuild and revive this great party.

‘However, 50 years' service is a lifetime's devotion, and I must respect his decision.’

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