opinion

'Tim Farron's gay sex comments remind us many still believe LGBT people are lesser human beings'

The outpouring of support for the former Lib Dem leader shows the battle is far from won, writes Hugh Kaye.

2018-01-13

Most of you will have read that the former leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron, has flip-flopped again.

Having said, in a desperate bid to get votes during last year’s general election campaign, that he didn’t see gay sex as evil, he has returned to his original stance and decided that it is a sin, telling Premier Christian Radio that he regrets going against his Christian beliefs and saying otherwise.

That a politician says one thing to one group of people and the direct opposite to others at a later date is no surprise. But what did surprise me a bit was Metro newspaper's decision this week to print letters supporting Farron’s fundamentalist - because they are nothing less - beliefs.

But I’m grateful they did.

Grateful because it shows us that there are still people out there who think it is perfectly OK to be hate-filled idiots.

Take Katherine from Essex, who writes: “He [Farron] was under immense pressure when he gave the politically correct answer that it was not a sin. He knows he was wrong to lie but good on him for standing up to correct his error and for representing God.”

Thanks for that Katherine, although I’m not sure who thinks they have the right to represent God. Not you, hopefully. Because, you see, the God I was taught about at school and university, stopped being the angry God of the Old Testament and became a loving God because of Christ. I’m guessing you’ve heard of him…

Then there is an anonymous letter that praises Farron for being “brave enough” to say that gay sex is a sin.

It continues: “You can’t disagree with anything the LGBT community has to say without being branded a homophobe.”

Well, whoever you are, if you preach hatred against LGBT+ people, what would you like us to call you?

The excuse people like this use is that anyone who is offended is a “snowflake”. A term dreamt up by right-wing arseholes. I am supposed not to be offended when someone says something offensive. Right… So if I called Christians barking-mad religious nutcases, who believe in fairytales, you wouldn’t be offended?

I don’t really need to point out that the Bible actually says very little about homosexuality - Leviticus (in the Old Testament which pre-dates Christ) says: You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.

But I am reminded that the same book of the Bible calls for anyone working on a Sunday to be executed. It also bans the eating of pork. I wonder if nice Katherine from Essex has ever enjoyed a bacon butty. And, if not, I do hope she will be ready to stone to death any local farmer who plants different crops side by side, which the Old Testament also demands.

As I said, I probably don’t need to point that out.

My point is rather more serious. The gays have spent a lot of time celebrating the fact that love is love. Well, let’s not forget that hate is hate. And, wow, it still exists by the bucket-load.

Yes, I’m grateful for Metro for printing those letters (and to their credit, they printed two rebutting Farron’s bigoted ignorance) because it reminds us that there are still people out there who think we are somehow lesser human beings than them. That we don’t deserve equality. That, frankly, the world might be a better place if we didn’t exist. And that it is still OK to say so.

All of which means that we need to remain vigilant and continue the fight.

Words: Hugh Kaye