Northern Ireland’s regional health minister resigned on Monday after saying that children of same-sex couples were more at risk of being abused or neglected.

Jim Wells was also placed under investigation by police over alleged comments made to a lesbian woman while out campaigning for next week’s general election.

Wells said in a statement that he and his family had been attacked on social media “in a deeply personal, nasty and, in some cases, threatening way”.

The issue of same-sex marriage is hugely controversial in Northern Ireland — the only part of the United Kingdom that does not allow it and which also bans abortion.

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