During his appearance on BBC Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show Lord Maginnis comparing homosexuality to bestiality and calling gay marriage “unnatural and deviant behaviour”.
The UUP distanced themselves from his comments at the time by issuing a statement that said: “Lord Maginnis was speaking in a personal capacity without our knowledge or permission and his comments do not reflect Ulster Unionist Party policy.”
Now, after 50 years of service with the party, Lord Maginnis is stepping down after refusing to withdraw his comments.
He said: “I have agonised over the last three months. Currently there is no room for independent or logical thinking (within the party) and that does not suit me.”
His comments during the broadcast included saying: “Will the next thing be that we legislate for some sort of bestiality?” He added: “”These are people that seem to take some pride expressing their particular rights. I disagree with those rights and that deviance.”
He later made comments to the Belfast Telegraph that described gay relationships on the next rung on the ladder to bestiality.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt has said that he hopes a resolution can be found that will enable Lord Maginnis to contribute towards the party again in future.