Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 15:07 UK

No action over Iris gay comments

Iris Robinson
Mrs Robinson made the comments on the Stephen Nolan Show

Comments made by Iris Robinson about homosexuality do not warrant disciplinary action, the Assembly Ombudsman has ruled.

The DUP MLA made the comments on BBC Radio Ulster's Stephen Nolan Show in June of last year.

Mrs Robinson said that homosexuality "was an abomination".

The Strangford representative also said with help, gay people could be "turned around".

"The existing code of conduct is silent in respect of the expression of views by members on moral and social matters," said an Assembly Ombudsman spokesman.

"The case does not warrant any further action within the terms of the code.

"On one hand elected representatives must be free, within the law, to express any political opinion that they may hold. This includes opinions on moral and social issues."

However, the spokesman continued, it is also the case that public representatives have a "particular responsibility for the manner in which they express such beliefs and views".

"It is essential that in acting in the interests of the community as a whole, members are conscious of the risk of some groups in society using the articulation of those sincerely held beliefs as a reason to physically attack members of any community who also have the right to live their lives without fear of attack or hostility from others."

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