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Lib Dem president Tim Farron ‘victim of false gay rumours’

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  1. It’s all wicked, poisonous and horrible, but I know it’s not true.

    This denial sounds a little too vehement for my liking.

    1. Why, whenever someone in the public arena makes a categorical denial or rebuttal against allegations or rumours of them being gay, does there have to be an almost automatic reaction on PN that they must be gay and are in the closet?

      “Its a bit too vehement for my liking” … if anything, he sounds measured in what he said, he reflects on Hague reacting (in his view and my interpretation) with over reaction …

      I do think Farrons claim that Stonewall have been unfair in their analysis of his voting record disingenuous. Did he attend all the votes or was he absent for some? Did he vote against some measures in the Equality Bill? The are cold hard facts that Stonewall has analysed – if he doesnt like the analysis then he should have voted differently!

      That said, I have no reason to doubt Farrons assertion that he is in a happy relationship with his wife and that he is not homosexual … his denial is not (to my mind) an automatic lie ….

      1. This man voted against the Sexual Orientation regulations in 2007. I don’t see why we should cut him any slack.

        1. Whether or not he voted against the sexual orientation regulations, does not mean we should question the integrity of his comments that he personally is heterosexual …

          We should condemn his voting, we should question his lack of liberal attitudes, we should expose his tacit homophobia, we can not jump to the conclusion that he is gay because he voted in this manner …

          If anything such a reaction damages our argument because of the lack of credibility of the reaction …

          I don’t support Farron, but more so, I do not support casting doubt on comments when there is no evidence to support such doubt

          1. My concern was over the vehemence of the language used by Farron, which indicated to me that he is innately prejudiced. I wasn’t commenting in any way on whether I thought the rumours were true – in fact I thought they were probably not. Although, of course, I have no way of knowing for sure.

          2. @Dave

            Its all too often the case that there is a response to someone who publically denies they are gay, that someone on PN will cry “they must be in the closet”. Its simply not true that all people who deny that they are are, are actually gay – some are being honest in their denials.

            Your comment may have been about his denial about him being inately prejudiced, but given that the quote you used was linked to his comments about his own personal sexuality, then it is not surprising that it can be presumed that your comment “the denial sounds a little too vehement …” can be viewed in the manner that I have.

          3. @ Stu

            Sorry but I don’t follow your logic, Stu. I think David (below) put it very well when he said Farron’s denial suggests he “beliieves that being gay is wicked, poisonous and horrible.” This is not the sort of message we want young people to hear.

          4. @Dave

            Firstly, if you interpret what Farron was saying as meaning that he “beliieves that being gay is wicked, poisonous and horrible.”; then I categorically agree this is not the sort of position that we would want young people to hear and is incompatible with his role as Lib Dem President.

            However, what I meant is that I perceive the initial comment on this thread as saying that Farrons denial that he is gay was “a little to vehement”, suggesting that Farron is lying about his sexuality. Given that there have been many similar comments about others on PN and given that Farron was clear in his denial about being gay its not an unreasonable conclusion that the “too much vehemence” relates to the simple denial of being gay and not regarding his attitude to LGBT issues more generally. Farron said Stonewall were unfair in their comments about him (I disagree) but he reserved his “wicked” and vehement comments for the false rumours about his sexuality.

        2. FluffyBiscuits 19 Sep 2011, 11:55am

          Its no one elses business if he is gay or not, leave the man to his privacy

          1. Patrick Lyster-Todd 19 Sep 2011, 2:32pm

            That is not true. He’s a politician and he’s chosen to go public on this issue so any appropriate comment at this point is fair game. What galss me the most is that by his vociferous denial (over which observers are quite entitled to draw and express their own opinion) he infers that there’s something terribly wrong with being gay …

          2. FluffyBiscuits 19 Sep 2011, 2:43pm

            Its this inferrance that he is that may perhaps cause issues for him should he have a girlfriend. People can still be gay and hold moral objections. Im gay but wouldnt want anyone shouting my business as has happened to me in my workplace.

          3. @Patrick Lyster-Todd

            Whilst I agree Farrons choice of words is wrong as it paints homosexuality as a negative issue.

            I do think though that is someone chooses to interpret some other persons words to suggest a denial is actually false and lies then without evidence that is (at best) of the same value as the rumour mongers and potentially libelous.

            Farrons attitude is wrong. His voting record is horrific. He doesnt deserve the role of Lib Dem President due to his lack of integrity in his record on LGBT issues.

            However, unless someone has clear evidence to the contrary nor can we call him a liar when he denies being gay. Regardless of other forms of behaviour and conduct, it does not give us the right to libel him without proof.

      2. He’s a ‘committed christian’ with a homophobic voting record.

        That fits the description of a closet case almost to perfection.

        See also Little Willie Hague

        1. Not every committed Christian with a homophobic voting record is gay. Some are just committed Christians who are homophobic (and heterosexual)

          Such a childish approach to suggest that someone who denies is automatically what they deny. I deny being straight – because I’m gay – does that mean you think I’m straight????

  2. Jock S. Trap 19 Sep 2011, 11:47am

    I look forward to the day when these kinds of ‘rumours’ circulate we just have a tut and a “It’s not true but so what” rather than gong into some off the wall remarks that come across as if being Gay is something to be ashamed of.

    1. Jock S. Trap 19 Sep 2011, 11:48am

      Correction – I look forward to the day when these kinds of ‘rumours’ don’t make headlines.

      1. Absolutely, Jock S Trap

        Its partly about reaching a societal change whereby being gay is one indication of who a person is, but only one and is not a factor to be worried of, concerned about or ashamed of.

        Also, though, its about having a sense of perspective. Some people who deny thiungs are genuinely hiding things. Many are not. All too often there is an element within LGBT communities who seek to presume that if someone denies they are gay then the opposite must be true. So, if I deny that I am heterosexual (which I would do because I am very clearly gay), does that automatically make me heterosexual? Absolutely not – and the bizarre conclusions that everyone denying being gay is lying is preposterous.

  3. auntie babs 19 Sep 2011, 12:16pm

    Personally I would have rathered him say “none of your business but I’m not gay and there would not be anything wrong with it if I was”

    Being gay is not wicked, poisonous or horrible. A poor choice of words methinks.

    1. Yeah I think your choice of words is better, auntie babs

      I also accept that if he has been subject of rumour mongering and now press speculation then he might be stressed and not make the most reflective of answers to a question that annoys him.

      That said, on an entriely separate issue, he needs to reflect on his voting record as it is appalling

    2. He’s a ‘committed christian’ with a homophobic voting record. He clearly beliieves that being gay is wicked, poisonous and horrible.

      Christians (and other religious people) are renowned tor their bigotry – their bible instructs them to hate after all.

      1. No, I think he’d probably be a bigot even without ‘instruction from the bible’.

        Why do people always generalise. I’ve met some very open, gay-friendly straight Christians – it appears to be David that you can equally be accused of bigotry.

        1. I entirely agree, Mendirin

          I know some very gay friendly heterosexual Christians

          Having studied the Bible in the past I can’t see anything in it that instructs a Christiasn to hate as David suggests

          I do think there is an unfortunate reverse bigotry amongst some in the LGBT communities (I usually get castigated for suggesting this, but I honestly believe it to be true). Suggesting all Christians hate LGBT people or are homophobic is like suggesting all LGBT people are camp, enjoy promiscuous bareback sex whilst listening to Eurovision and showtunes and vote Labour – neither stereotype is true …

          1. The way I see it is that each person should be judged on their own merit. After all, isn’t that was LGBT rights are about? Judging us as people as opposed to our sexuality?

            I’m not religious in anyway. I used to hold the same views that David does but my work colleague is a Jamaican Christian woman and has done a lot to allay my own prejudices.

            In contrast we’ve got a story on PN with a psychotic Catholic scientist who freaks out at “men touching elbows”.

            Scientists are meant to be rational and logical..

          2. Absolutely, we seek to be treated with fairness as individuals and respected for who and what we are. It only seems common courtesy that we recognise the individuality of others …

  4. In what sense is being opposed to LGB equality “liberal”? I dont like political blackmail and hes done the right thing in forcing the blackmailers hand and coming out with all of this, but really not the kind of man i want running a political party.

  5. Andrew Neill tweeted ages ago about a possible libdem scandal and set the rumours flying. It turned out to be someone else and was forgotten. So why does Farron have to resurrect the story. Imo he just wants publicity.

    1. Because the Daily Mail (who else?) has just resurrected it.

  6. He’s a ‘committed christian’ with a homophobic voting record.

    Of COURSE people will think he’s a closet gay – homophobic christians have a tendency to be closet-cases.

    He fits the stereotype of a closet case.

    As does Little Willie Hague – a man with an appallingly homophobic voting record who shared a hotel bedroom with his young, attractive, male employee, allowing his less attractive employees to have their own hotel bedrooms.

    1. People will guess, speculate etc … maybe …

      To do so in an infantile manner like this weakens our cause

      Just because he acts like an idiot with his voting record does not mean we should speak without being able to backup what we say particularly when we accuse someone of lying

      I used to think that most people who sought LGBT rights were able to have more integrity in their debate – disappointingly it appears not.

    2. “a man with an appallingly homophobic voting record “… yeah like voting for the age of consent for homosexual sex to be 16.

      1. @Luke

        Whilst he did vote to equalise the age of consent, his approach more generally is concerning regarding LGBT issues.

        Nonetheless, speculating as to whether he is lying or not about his sexuality without prime facie evidence is juvenile and weakens any sort of comment the LGBT communities may wish to make when such speculation is linked to positive comment from the communities.

        1. @Stu, it seems that if Tim Farron did vote to equalise the age of consent, it wasn’t as a Member of Parliament. Do you have any more information on the vote?

          1. @Dave

            My error, apologies …

            Although its interesting to read his views on equal age of consent

            http://stephengilbert.org.uk/en/page/tim-farron

      2. @Luke

        Just for the record, please could you confirm what vote you’re talking about?

  7. One of three things will happen (well, maybe one or a few of more; the cosmos is basically chaotic I’m not claiming to have a crystal ball):
    1 He actually is straight and will continue to fall down on l&g equality issues while claiming to be a liberal;
    2 He is gay, will remain in the closet, and will continue to fall down on L&g equality issues and call himself a liberal;
    3 The pressure of actual or impending revelations will force him out of the closet, he will express regret over previous lack of commitment to l&g equality issues, say that after long reflection he has faced up to and affirmed his real self, arrange an amicable parting from his wife, and continue to call himself a liberal.

    How does the betting look to everyone?

  8. “The MP, who is a committed Christian, has been criticised for his voting record on LGBT issues.”

    What more proof do you need?

    1. evidence rather than speculation

  9. He doesn’t stand a chance of taking control of the Liberal Democrats.

  10. why is it wicked to call someone gay?

    1. I think it’s wicked to try and blackmail someone (though I don’t know how you can blackmail about something that isn’t true).

      I thnk the answer is “it’s be great if I was gay, they have better clothes and parties, but I’m not.”

      1. Actually, I think it’s preferable not to pander to stereotypes, don’t you?

        1. In good humour with the right audience, stereotypes can be humerous. They do have the risk of reinforcing wrongly held values and views and offending some – which is why you need to be cautious with your audience.

    2. It can be seen as wicked to imply, since he’s married (to a woman), that he’s duplicitous and a hypocrite.

  11. Raymond A. Weaver 19 Sep 2011, 4:33pm

    Replies here have pretty well covered anything I might say…except gay or no, he sure is cute.

    1. Clearly, there’s nowt so queer as folk.

    2. Not exactly the parish stallion.

  12. Cambodia Guesthouse 19 Sep 2011, 5:32pm

    I think this homophobe is in the wrong party surely?

    Hoping to RUN it? He’s not fit to be just a member!

  13. Sorry, where is this evidence that he is a homophobe?

    Just because he actually supports free speech does not make him suddenly hate gay people. Christ, you authoritarians think everyone who doesn’t support hate speech regulations is automatically racist/homophobic.

    I’m gay myself and I would have voted against the Sexual Orientation regulations. I’m not a fan of policing speech.

    1. The Sexual Orientation Regulations are about banning discrimination in action, such as refusing double beds to gay couples. If he voted against them he most certainly is a homophobe. They are not about speech. Are you confusing them with the hate crime legislation, about which I agree that reasonable people gay and straight can disagree?

      1. Nor does that make you a homophobe. Business should be able to choose their customers. Just like I can choose who comes into my flat.

        1. Hansard

          Would you support us going back to the old days where B&Bs were able to put posters in windows saying “no blacks”, if not (and I hope you would not support that) then why should they be able to offer their business to the public and restrict it to not permitting LGBT people … its on the road to segregation (albeit not far down the road) but its unacceptable. Free speech – yes I support that. Free speech that segregates and denies access of services provided for the public – absolutely not.

        2. Just like I can choose who comes into my flat.

          Not if you expected people to pay to come into your flat, you can’t (and shouldn’t). Or do you, as Stu says, advocate the ability for people providing a paid service to refuse to serve non-white people/Jews/Catholics etc?

  14. Most of the people who are anti gay have been found to be hiding something, you just need to keep looking and you will find what they are hiding, in their closets.

    1. Where is your evidence that “most” people have been found to be hiding something in their closet who are anti gay? Some may not be – and we need to deal with both sets of people. They both exist. Yes some may need encouragement to accept who they are (those who are in the closet), some need to be challenged and condemned (the genuine real determined hate filled homophobes). If we forget either group then we can not effectively tackle LGBT issues because our appraoch lacks sophistication and does not effectively address all the issues.

  15. aunty_trash 21 Sep 2011, 2:15pm

    Not Tim, not anti gay, people jumping to the wrong conclusion on this. The “respected” member of the local community who had been blackmailed over his private life was known to local shopkeepers as he moved around town suspiciously and sneakily yes a respected member of the local community but not Tim. He is always busy serving his constituents and his party

  16. There’s a theatricality about Tim that has lead some people inside the LibDems to suggest that he could be gay. Some of this suspicion was initially aroused by his voting record: he did seem to be in the wrong party with views on homosexuality seemingly dictated by the Old Testament. During his successful bid for the party’s presidency I saw him close up (in a small college classroom) giving a bravura performance. Tim is a very effective communicator but on this one subject he is always rather shy of direct contact. This means he always invokes the approval of others and you can be sure of a testimonial or two from a fellow local friend or colleague by email rather than a direct answer from the man himself.

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