Lib Dem leader quizzed: is being gay a sin?

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 19, 2017. See PA story POLITICS PMQs Farron. Photo credit should read: PA Wire
Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday April 19, 2017. See PA story POLITICS PMQs Farron. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said that being gay is not a sin as he defended his record on LGBT rights.

Mr Farron was pressed on the issue in the Commons by Conservative MP Nigel Evans after being criticised for failing to properly answer questions about his views on homosexuality in the past.

Speaking during the debate on whether to hold an early general election, Mr Farron also said the Conservatives would be “taking candy from a baby” when it came to claiming seats from Labour.

The Lib Dem leader repeatedly failed to rule out a coalition with the Tories.

Mr Evans (Ribble Valley) said: “A lot of his views will be asked about over the next seven weeks, and he was asked one question which he refused to give an answer to, and I’d be interested if he could today.

“Does he think that being gay is a sin?”

Mr Farron replied: “I do not.

“And I tell you what, I am very proud to have gone through the lobby behind him in the coalition government where the Liberal Democrats introduced gay marriage, equal marriage, and indeed did not go as far as it should have done in terms of recognising transgender rights.”

Mr Farron was challenged three times about his Christian beliefs on Channel 4 News on Tuesday evening, and did not say whether being gay was a sin.

He came under fire from celebrities including Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou and ex-Great British Bake Off presenter Sue Perkins for failing to make his position clear.

Asked if he would go on the record and state his position he later told the Press Association: “I have never judged anybody, I am massively in favour of people being absolutely free to have the right to love who they love, be who they are, marry who they marry.

“As a liberal I believe in human rights, in equality for every single person ... and LGBT rights are absolutely central to those human rights I am massively passionate about.”

He went on: “My belief for equality runs through me like a stick of rock and likewise through our party as well.”