An academic at Ulster University has been criticised for homophobic comments made on his personal Facebook account during an online debate.
Dr Mark Gilfillan, a research associate in Irish Jewish history, described homosexuality as a “bizarre fetish that has resulted in 72% of new cases of HIV”. He made the comments while contributing to a debate on the Ashers Bakery case.
He also complained that anyone who shows “disgust” towards homosexuality are “outlawed” by society and called bigots.
Many members of the LGBT community were outraged at the comments while some described them as “deeply offensive” and “disturbing”.
Dr Gilfillan sent an email to the Belfast Telegraph saying the comments were his own personal beliefs and he was not actively working with the college at the time. He also claimed that the comments were made “in a very limited online conversation with a handful of participants”.
Ulster University have distanced themselves from the comments saying that they were “in no way supported by the university which prides itself on being inclusive and on welcoming staff and students of all backgrounds and beliefs”.
A spokesperson for the university said that there would be a full investigation into the comments.