Tim Farron insists being gay is not a sin after celebrity backlash
Tim Farron today insisted he does not think homosexuality is a sin - after he was attacked by a host of celebrities for refusing to be clear on the issue.
Asked if he thought being gay was a transgression against God, the Liberal Democrat leader and evangelical Christian said “I do not” and lauded his record voting for equal marriage.
Back in 2015 when asked whether he viewed homosexuality as a sin, Mr Farron replied that “we are all sinners”.
Today he faced a backlash after an interview on Channel 4 News in which he declined to clarify his views, saying he would not be drawn into making “theological announcements”.
But in the Commons later he stressed his LGBT credentials when questioned on the matter by gay Tory MP Nigel Evans.
“Does the honourable member think that being gay is a sin?” Mr Evans asked during a debate on holding a snap election this afternoon.
Mr Farron replied: “I do not. I am very proud to have gone through that lobby… when the Liberal Democrats introduced gay marriage; equal marriage.”
He said the legislation did not “go as far as it should have done in terms of recognising transgender rights” and urged colleagues not to be complacent about LGBT issues.
He told Channel 4 News yesterday: “Just because I’m Christian, it would be a bit boring for everybody to spend the next weeks asking me to make theological announcements that I’m not going to make.”
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said this morning it would be “appalling” if Mr Farron did hold the view that being gay was sinful.
Little Britain star David Walliams accused the Liberal Democrat leader of “intolerance and prejudice”, while comedian David Baddiel labelled him “a fundamentalist Christian homophobe”.
Problem with people saying it's Tim Farron who's talking the most sense is: he's a fundamentalist Christian homophobe. #notsurehowwegothere
The former host of Great British Bake-Off, comedian Sue Perkins, also piled in on Twitter, as did columnist and equal rights campaigner Owen Jones.
Tim Farron on C4 news failing to clarify his views on the gay community. 'We're all sinners'.
This is an absolute disgrace. But hey, I'm just some sinning gay, what would I know. https://t.co/nzu1PU7YLB