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NORRIS IS ON THE BACK FOOT AGAIN; Senator defiant on abortion & age of consent.

Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

DAVID Norris was last night battling another Presidential storm after his views on abortion, age of consent and prostitution returned to haunt him.

For the second week running, the outspoken Senator was forced to defend himself after he said he did not believe in a legal age for sex.

He also said hookers should be allowed to sell their bodies and that a fertilised egg in the early stages is not a human - but abortion is always a sad thing".

The comments were made a year ago to a newspaper - and yesterday Mr Norris asked to be judged on his record and not "sensational headlines".

Defending his views on Morning Ireland, he was asked about the distinction between pederasty, which he "appeared to support" and paedophilia.

Mr Norris added: "I abhor and condemn with every fibre of my being any abuse of children be it physical, sexual or psychological."

But he said that he did not think that people understood that pederasty was something "quite different", and came from Classical Greece.

He added: "When I grew up as a young gay man in Dublin there were no social outlets for gay men. I didn't consciously meet another gay male until I was more than 20. The subject was surrounded by silence and fear."

Senator Norris said the discovery of Plato's Symposium was a "wonderful day because here was a group of the greatest philosophers in Greece discussing love between men".

He added: "And in particular between young adults and some slightly older men. It's a debate over a dinner party and most interesting."

In the interview, the senator was quoted as saying he did not believe in having an age of consent but a principle of consent.

He said: "I don't think people realise how widely different the ages of consent are throughout Europe. In Spain, which is quite close to Ireland in ethos, it is 13."

The candidate said he believed where two young people had sex who were very close in age, but where one of them was marginally younger, that the judiciary should be allowed to examine the principle of consent.

He added: "Everybody knows that quite young people are having sex experimentally. I think that's wrong. I think that's bad, I think it's not good for them. But sending them to prison, juvenile institutions, that is questionable.

"In the history of what's happened to children in our State institutions, I think we have to raise and look at these issues very honestly.

"I have always at the centre placed the most vulnerable and I make no apology for that."

Mr Norris stressed he is "not pro-abortion".

But he believed that access to information is the best way to reduce terminations.

He argued that the question of legalising drugs was part of a "wide-ranging debate" that was taking place all over Europe.

In an heartfelt plea, Mr Norris said: "Look at what I've done, look at the changes I've helped to introduce to Irish life."

He says:

ILLEGAL DRUGS

They should be legalised because the one thing that will stop dealers is to destroy the financial motivation.

THE AGE OF CONSENT

I believe in the principle of consent.

PROSTITUTION

It should be regulated as a regrettable necessity in the interest of health

ABORTION

I don't want girls going off alone in tears in a mail boat.

PEDERASTY

The classical Greek idea, where you'd find that an older man will take a younger man under his wing and introduce him to life, is more preferable than the fumbling I was exposed to.

BEING GAY

I realised I was the odd one out and that was a bit of a stinker.

ON OTHER GAYS IN POLITICS

I'm not the only gay in the village.

THE POPE

His ideas are incoherent, they are all bluster & prejudice.

CAPTION(S):

CANDIDATE Senator David Norris is standing for president
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2011
Words:649
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