Northern Ireland: ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ founder Ian Paisley dies

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Former Northern Irish politician Dr Ian Paisley, who founded the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign, has died.

The 88-year-old politician, who led the Democratic Unionist Party, died today.

Dr Paisley launched the ‘Save Ulster from Sodomy’ campaign to lobby against the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1977.

The campaign, based on Biblical values, claimed that being gay should remain illegal because the Bible says that it is a sin.

Despite his vocal opposition to gay rights, he spent over 40 years in public office from when he became an MP in 1970, until his retirement in 2010.

He was First Minister of Northern Ireland from 2007 until his resignation in 2008.

His son, Ian Paisley Jr, said in 2007 that he was “repulsed” by homosexuals, and defended the comments last year, adding “Christians are scared off about expressing this sort of view.”

A statement from Dr Paisley’s wife said: “My beloved husband, Ian, entered his eternal rest this morning.

“Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken.”

Northern Ireland’s Assembly voted against same-sex marriage last year, after the DUP vetoed introducing equality.