Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has refused to clarify whether he thinks homosexuality is a sin – again.
In the aftermath of the general election announcement yesterday (April 18), Farron appeared on Channel 4 News with Cathy Newman to discuss his party’s strategy for the election, including a pledge to fight against Brexit.
The interview then turned to reference Farron’s past reluctance to clarify his position on homosexuality. “Metropolitan Remainers might like what they hear from you on Brexit, but what about social issues?” Newman asked.
Newman went on to reference a 2015 interview on Channel 4 News, during which she asked Tim three times whether he thought gay sex was a sin. Farron dodged the question each time, responding with “to understand Christianity is to understand that we are all sinners.”
Broaching the topic again, Newman asked: “Now you’ve had a while to consider that question, what is the answer?”
Disagreeing with Newman’s assessment, Farron said didn’t “struggle at all” to answer the original question, before going on to pledge his support for equality.
“As a liberal, I’m passionate about equality, about equal marriage, about equal rights for LGBT people,” Farron said.
However, he still did not provide an answer to the question Newman asked. Farron ended the interview by saying “It would be a bit boring for everybody to spend the next six weeks asking me to make theological pronouncements?”
How about spending the next six weeks answering questions directly, Tim?
Many viewers took issue with Farron’s comments. TV presented Sue Perkins noted that Farron failed to give an answer, remarking that “It’s 2017.” Journalist Owen Jones called the remarks (or lack thereof) “a disgrace”. He continued: “But hey, I’m just some sinning gay, what would I know.”
— Cathy Newman (@cathynewman) April 18, 2017
Tim Farron on C4 news failing to clarify his views on the gay community. ‘We’re all sinners’.
— Sue Perkins (@sueperkins) April 18, 2017
This is an absolute disgrace. But hey, I’m just some sinning gay, what would I know. https://t.co/nzu1PU7YLB
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) April 18, 2017
Farron is upfront about his Christian faith and has been accused of being “illiberal” when it comes to LGBT issues. He was criticised for abstaining from a vote on gay marriage in 2013, at the third reading of same-sex marriage legislation, despite having voted for it previously.
Watch the exchange below:
Liberal Democrats leadership candidate Tim Farron regrets abstaining from gay marriage vote
Tim Farron says sorry for malicious tweet about ‘gay cure’