The leader of the Liberal Democrats in the UK refused to comment on whether he thinks homosexuality is sinful.
In an interview on Friday with Channel 4 News, the new leader of the Lib Dems Tim Farron told broadcaster Cathy Newman that: ‘My firm belief is that we are all sinners’, when asked if ‘homosexual sex’ is sinful.
Farron, devoutly Christian, was asked to speak about his personal views. As leader of a liberal party he has been controversially negative about abortion rights and marriage equality – he voted against the marriage equality bill.
Asked if homosexuality is a sin he said: ‘Perhaps the Bible phrase that I use most – particularly with my kids, but actually on myself – is: “You don’t pick out the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye when there is a plank in your own.”’
He said ‘what makes a liberal’ is: ‘[To] fight for the freedom of every single individual to be who they wish to be.’
His interviewer Newman persisted, quoting the biblical passage: ‘You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination’; asking whether he agreed.
Newman also stated that pro-LGBTI stance was a touchstone of Lib Dem beliefs.
Finishing the interview, Farron reiterated: ‘Everyone is a sinner, and everyone has the offer of redemption.’
Sunday, he issued a statement on his beliefs on the Andrew Marr show: ‘Let me be crystal clear, I’m a liberal and I absolutely support equality.
‘I’m passionate about LGBT-plus rights, for example, and as the leader of a Liberal party, that is something that will be at the top of my agenda throughout the time that I am leader of our party.’