A prominent Muslim doctor in the U.K. appeared before a misconduct hearing Wednesday after declaring that society needs "protecting from the ravages" of homosexuality.

Dr. Muhammad Siddiq, 65, president of the Islamic Medical Association, accused gay people of spreading disease and suggested they needed the "stick of the law to put them on the right path," the General Medical Council heard.

Siddiq, who is currently suspended from practicing medicine, made the comments in a letter to medical magazine Pulse, which generated a stream of complaints when it was published last year.

He later apologized for causing hurt and distress, but faces misconduct charges in front of the General Medical Council fitness-to-practice panel in Manchester, England. If found guilty, he could be banned from practicing medicine.

The panel was told that Siddiq was working as a general practitioner at the Walsall Teaching Primary Care Trust when he wrote the letter in July 2007.

"There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth on the streets, the gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen, they are causing the spread of illness and they are the root cause of many sexually transmitted diseases," the letter read.

When first questioned about the letter, Siddiq said he had written it because of intense stress, but later claimed the letter had been a "hoax" written by his son without his knowledge, the panel was told.

Click here to read more on this story from the Times of London.