Politicians have a responsibility to exercise judgment
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Equality and Human Rights, Martina Anderson MLA has said that with the right to free speech comes the responsibility, particularly from politicians, to act with due care and consideration.
She was commenting on the outrage created by the recent comments of DUP Health Spokesperson Iris Robinson MLA.
Ms Anderson said:
"Sinn Fein would be the first to defend the right to free speech but with such rights also come responsibilities.
"Politicians in particular have a responsibility not to inflame public opinion, particularly if such comments can insight hatred, lead to violence or harm members of our society. Iris Robinson cannot divorce her comments from attacks on people because of their sexual orientation.
"As a public representative it is unacceptable that Iris Robinson labels any section of society as being 'abnormal' and in need of Psychiatric care.
"This is not the first time that a member of the DUP created general hurt among the gay and lesbian community with their insensitive and ill-though out comments. I think that such an outrageous comment from Mrs Robinson calls into question her suitability as Chair of the Assembly Health Committee." ENDS