Equalities minister: Tim Farron needs to be ‘honest’ about views on gay people
Equalities minister Caroline Dinenage has hit out at newly-elected Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, after he refused to say whether he thinks homosexuality is a sin.
Tim Farron was elected as leader of the Lib Dems earlier this month, edging out former Health Minister Norman Lamb – but ran into trouble while discussing his voting record with Channel 4 News.
The Lib Dem leader was directly asked if he believes gay sex is a sin four times – but failed to provide an answer.
PinkNews put the same question to Tory MP Caroline Dinenage.
She responded: “No, of course not!”
Ms Dinenage added of Mr Farron’s answer: “It’s difficult, because I’m from a different political party – but I would say that the LGBT community have a right to know what they’re voting for.
“He needs to come out and say, one way or another – if you want to be in the position where people will trust you on other issues, you’ve got to be honest!”
The Tory MP for Gosport was appointed as a junior Minister for Equalities in May this year – though she voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in 2013, claiming the state had “no right” to implement it.
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However, in an interview with PinkNews, the minister said she immediately regretted her vote against equality.
She said: “As soon as I’d gone through the voting lobby, I thought to myself, ‘what on earth are you doing?’
“If you look at my voting record, there were five or six votes on same-sex marriage and I didn’t vote against it again. I only did it the once.
“I thought, ‘This is ridiculous, you have to go with actually what’s in your heart and what you believe in’ – which is why the record will show that I then didn’t do it again.”
She added: “The other thing I will say, is I think that PinkNews really needs to move on as well.”