by Rex Wockner
A recent homophobic outburst from British MP Iris Robinson, who is married to Peter Robinson, leader of the regional government in Northern Ireland, was credited with upping attendance at the Aug. 2 Belfast gay pride parade to around 4,000 marchers, despite bad weather.
During a recent Grand Committee debate in Parliament, Mrs. Robinson was quoted as saying, “There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children.”
She later said she meant the comparison to be the other way around.
Mrs. Robinson also reportedly said, in June, that homosexuality is “disgusting, loathsome, nauseating, wicked and vile.”
In addition to serving in the British Parliament, Mrs. Robinson also is a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The parade began at Customs House Square and ended at City Hall.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tom Hartley, joined the procession, calling it “the real face of 21st-century Belfast.”
“This is our city at its most diverse and this is one of the most creative communities we have in Belfast,” Hartley told The Observer.