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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Leader of Liberal Democrats won't say if he thinks being gay is a sin

Tim Farron’s comments have been criticised by some, but others have defended him.

THE LEADER OF the Liberal Democrats in the UK has declined to directly answer if he believes being gay is a sin.

Source: B Heard Media/YouTube

Cathy Newman asked Tim Farron about the issue during an interview on Channel 4 News.

Echoing previous comments he made, Farron said: ”I’m not in a position to go making theological pronouncements and, I can promise you one thing, over the next six weeks, I’m not going to spend my time talking theology or making pronouncements.”

He added: “As a liberal I’m passionate about equality, about equal marriage, about equal rights for LGBT people, for fighting not just for LGBT rights in this country but overseas.

“Just because I’m a Christian, I think it’d be a bit boring for everybody to spend the next six weeks asking me to make theological pronouncements and I’m not planning to do so.”

His comments were criticised by some people as unacceptable and outdated.

Others, including Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone, a prominent same-sex marriage supporter, defended Farron’s record on LGBT issues.

Farron previously abstained from votes on same-sex marriage, later saying he regretted this.

In a 2015 interview with Channel 4 News, Freeman also asked Farron if he believed that being gay was a sin. He gave a similar answer at the time, saying: “We are all sinners.”

Source: Channel 4 News/YouTube

Farron then denied that a Christian couldn’t be a liberal, saying of the Lib Dems:

This is the party that is based upon religious tolerance and indeed the tolerance of people who are not religious at all and defending the rights of every individual, whether they be a member of a minority or not.

Last week, Farron criticised the persecution of gay people in Chechnya, telling PinkNews: “These reports from Chechnya are truly horrifying, and represent an extreme manifestation of increasing homophobic brutality and intolerance in Putin’s Russia.

“The UK government must strongly condemn this disgusting violence, and use every possibly opportunity to raise this with the Russian government, as well as in the UN and other international bodies.”

Read: Snap election to be held in UK on 8 June

Read: What does a UK election mean for Ireland? It could be good news you know…

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Órla Ryan

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