April 30, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Northern Ireland’s health minister has resigned after facing backlash on social media for speaking negatively about homosexual parenting.
Jim Wells, an MLA with the Democratic Unionist Party, said in a statement that he and his family have been subjected to nasty, threatening, and abusive condemnation, even though he publicly apologized for having suggested that children are more likely to be abused in unstable homosexual relationships.
Irish media reported that Wells said “facts show you certainly don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship, that a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected,” during an election campaign stop in South Down on April 23.
“On the issue of comments I have made which have attracted significant publicity, I have already said sorry for the offence caused and acknowledged that the comments were factually inaccurate. At no time did I set out to hurt or offend anyone and it has upset me greatly that the comments made have cause distress to some within our community,” Wells said in the statement.
“I am deeply saddened that some of those who represent a different viewpoint from me have attacked my family and me in a deeply personal, nasty and, in some cases, threatening way. Some of the outbursts on social media have been particularly abusive and menacing in nature,” he stated.
Notwithstanding Wells' admission of factual inaccuracy in his apology, many children raised by same-sex couples maintain that their lives were nothing short of disasters. (For examples, click here, here and here.)
Moreover, research into children’s emotional outcomes has consistently found that children of opposite-sex parents have much better overall physical and mental health than children of same-sex couples.
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Despite the media attack over his disapproval of same-sex “marriage,” Wells said that his wife's serious illness was also the motivation to resign as health minister, so he could devote more time to her care.
“As many people are aware I have been focused on helping my wife during her fight for life. Those who know my family and I, know the last three months have been the toughest of our lives as we watched my wife, Grace, suffer two successive strokes and battle through major heart surgery. Like many families up and down the country who find themselves in similar circumstances our sole motivation has been to support Grace and give her all our support as she has battled for survival,” Wells said.
Democratic Unionist Party Leader, Peter Robinson, said he respected Wells' decision to resign, but focused on Grace's health, not on the media frenzy over the minister's comments on homosexuality.
“Jim and Grace have been foremost in our prayers over the last few months. I have always advised Jim that we stand ready to assist him in any way we can,” said Robinson.
“I would have wanted it to be otherwise but I respect Jim’s decision. However, he is right to put his family first and I will fully support his decision.”
The DUP leader concluded by stating, “I place on record my thanks, and that of my party, for Jim’s service and trust everyone will accept the stress and strain Jim has encountered over these past months and offer him and his family support and encouragement as Grace battles her illness.”
Jim Wells is on record for upholding his Christian and pro-life views in public as well as in private life.
In 2012 Wells told the BBC that abortion “shouldn’t be the first option” for women who find themselves pregnant after rape.
Mr. Wells called pregnancy from rape a “tragic and difficult situation,” but said that abortion “shouldn’t be the first option.”
“Should he or she [the unborn child] be punished for what has happened by having their life terminated? No,” he said.
“In Northern Ireland, there are hundreds of married couples who would love to adopt children – a child, a baby – and who could give support in that situation,” he said.