Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has been asked again whether he thinks that gay sex is sinful – and he declined to answer the question.

Mr Farron, who last year replaced Nick Clegg as leader of the Liberal Democrats, is a devout Christian with a mixed voting record on LGBT rights – though he is now an outspoken supporter of equality.

The leader was previously asked if he believes gay sex is a sin during a BBC interview – and refused to directly answer the question three times.

He said at the time that Christians “do not go around forcing their views on other people”, but repeatedly shied away from taking a stance.

The MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale was asked the same question in an interview with GQ Magazine.

He responded: “I’m not a religious leader; I’m a political leader.

“I think that everybody is utterly equal. People should be free to love who they want and marry who they want. But I don’t go making theological pronouncements.

“One of the reasons I joined the liberals was because of lesbian and gay rights.

“Friends of mine were gay and I saw how they were treated and bullied. I want a society where people are valued for who they are.”

Mr Farron had previously spoken openly about his mixed voting record on equality legislation in a PinkNews interview, saying that he “regrets anything that gives people the wrong impression”.

The politician claimed he voted against the Programme Motion on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, because he was trying to secure more time to discuss trans issues.

He was also forced to apologise to rights campaigner Peter Tatchell – after claiming Mr Tatchell agreed with his decision to vote against 2008’s Sexual Orientation Regulations.

When challenged on his opposition, he claimed that “Peter Tatchell was on the same side as me” – but Mr Tatchell, a veteran campaigner for of LGBT rights, was actually a vocal supporter of the Act.

Making pledges on LGBT issues going forward, Mr Farron said: “On LGBT+ issues, how do you follow it? I’ll give you three things I’m very keen we do.

“One, when it comes to the equal marriage legislation, I think we really missed a trick on trans issues. On the spousal veto, I think it’s an appalling thing that one person is allowed to block another person’s freedom. We should be making that a priority.
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“Secondly, it strikes me as deeply troubling is that there was no regulation of psychotherapists in the UK for quack conversion therapy.

“Thirdly, we’ve got to end the gay blood ban, which is a disgrace. My pledge to you is that my first opposition day bill will be getting rid of the gay blood ban. All of these things need to be based on the science, not on prejudice.”

Read the full interview in the March issue of GQ, on sale from Thursday February 4.