Published Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Health Minister Edwin Poots. (© Pacemaker)
The senior politician has come under fire for his stance on issues like gay people donating blood or adopting children.
Those behind the online petition are accusing him of "squandering public money in the pursuit of a personal agenda against unmarried and same sex couples".
Mr Poots has previously told UTV that, in taking the legal battle against the extension of adoption rights to the Supreme Court, his actions were not aimed at any particular community.
He claimed that "95% of people" in Northern Ireland were opposed to the legislation being changed to accommodate unmarried or same sex couples.
"Queen's University have a report which started in 2003 which identified that 99% of children in adopted homes had stability," Mr Poots added.
"And the reason for that was the rigorous assessment process that took place."
There is no human right to adopt a child for anyone, the right lies with the child and all of the evidence is that children are being identified for suitable homes that exist in Northern Ireland.
Health Minister Edwin Poots
Those behind the petition against the health minister claim that Mr Poots has spent £17,000 on the adoption issue, "denying children the best opportunity to a loving and stable family".
They estimate the final cost as being in the region of £40,000 and claim that data used to justify the action is, "by his own department's admission", flawed.
On the issue of blood donation, the petition's creators claim £37,000 has been spent preventing gay men participating, "at complete odds with blood donation advice in every other part of the UK".
Alliance MLA and health spokesman Kieran McCarthy expressed surprise that "a DUP minister has sought to oppose laws and rules which are in place in the rest of the UK".
He added: "The ban on civil partners adopting affects both same sex and heterosexual couples.
"There are too many children in our care system for us to be deciding who has the right to apply to adopt a child. It should be about whether a couple can provide a loving and safe home for a child.
"We should also be encouraging more people to donate blood, not telling perfectly eligible people that they are banned from donating blood."
Green Party MLA Steven Agnew said that he understood the frustrations of those who had signed the petition against Edwin Poots.
"They are angered by his personal ideological stance on these matters and his arrogance to spend public money fighting cases through the courts to suit his own personal agenda and beliefs," he said.
"Following a recent number of high-profile issues mishandled by Minister Poots, including the threatened closure of care homes and access to reproductive services, many people now want him to go and it will be interesting to see how his party responds to the demands of the public."
The petition was posted online on Monday.
© UTV News