Tim Farron on gay sex: New Lib Dem leader declines to say if he considers it's a sin

'We are all sinners,' says the new leader of the Liberal Democrats

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Indy Politics

Tim Farron, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, has repeatedly declined to say whether he thinks that gay sex is a sin.

Mr Farron, a devout Christian, said only that "my firm belief is that we are all sinners" and that the Liberal Democrats are "based upon religious tolerance" when asked whether he agreed with the Bible that homosexual sex is "an abomination".

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Mr Farron was asked the question three times – as well as about his failure to vote for same-sex marriage and earlier statements on abortion.

Attempting to distinguish between his personal morality and his political positions, Mr Farron said that it was not "our views on personal morality that matter" and that his liberalism amounted to "tolerance" of religious and non-religious groups and "defending the rights of every individual".

He said: "Somebody who is a Christian does not then go enforcing their views on other people.

"And it’s not our views on personal morality that matter, what matters is do we go out there and fight for the freedom of every single individual to be who they wish to be. That’s what makes a liberal."

 


Mr Farron said he liked to refer to the following Bible saying: "You don’t pick out the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye when there is a plank in your own."

In May 2013, Mr Farron – then president of his party - was among nine Lib Dem MPs who abstained at the third reading of the bill introducing same sex marriage, despite previous votes in favour.

Mr Farron said during his campaign for the Lib Dem leadership that it was a matter of "regret" that this had been "misread" as him being "lukewarm" to equal marriage.

On abortion, Mr Farron restated his personal view that the law was "about right" and that every abortion was "a tragedy", after Newman put it to him that he had appeared to suggest that abortion was "wrong".

"It’s a peculiar thing to say that somebody who happens to belong to a religious group, who’s a Christian, can’t be a liberal – it’s exactly the opposite," Mr Farron said.

The interview, on Friday evening, followed another on the Today programme on Radio 4, where presenter Jon Humphrys was accused of "sneering" at Mr Farron's faith.

Christian groups accused Humphrys of spending a disproportionate amount of time asking the new leader about his religious views.

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