Menu

InstagramTwitterYouTubeFacebookSnapchat
Globe Icon
Join and support LGBT+ journalism

Join

and support
LGBT+ journalism

Current Affairs

Piers Morgan slams Tim Farron as he cancels interview after gay sex sin row

April 19, 2017

Piers Morgan has hit out at Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron after he dropped out of an interview last minute.

The Lib Dem leader had been due to appear with Morgan on Good Morning Britain, but cancelled shortly before citing “scheduling issues”, following a row over whether he believes homosexuality is sinful.

Farron, who became the Lib Dem leader in 2015, is currently under the microscope as his pro-EU party hopes to make gains in the UK’s snap election, announced by PM Theresa May.

In an interview on Channel 4 News yesterday, he refused to clarify whether or not he believed homosexuality was a sin, on the fourth occasion of the news programme asking.

Mr Morgan laid into the political leader, telling viewers: “He was supposed to appear on this show today, he claimed he pulled out over ‘scheduling issues’, I think he pulled out over questioning issues.

“If he’s declined to comment then it suggests that he thinks homosexuality is a sin,” fumed Morgan, 54.

“Come on Mr. Farron, you’re a good guy, we like you, you’ve got to come clean about this.

“I don’t think you can keep saying being gay is a sin.”

Former business secretary and Lib Dem MP candidate Vince Cable did appear on the show, however.

“If Theresa May says homosexuality is a sin she would have to resign”, Mr Morgan said.

However Mr Cable disagreed, saying, “no, she wouldn’t”, defending his party leader over the comments.

Conservative Brexit Secretary David Davis agreed, saying: “I wouldn’t force any politician in making a moral judgment.”

Unlike previous Liberal Democat leader Nick Clegg, who fiercely championed LGBT rights, Mr Farron rose to the position with a poor voting history on the issue – though he has become an outspoken and consistent supporter of equal rights since becoming party leader.

The evangelical Christian MP has come under some scrutiny for his religious views – and during a Channel 4 interview in 2015, he refused to answer three times when asked if he thinks gay sex is a sin.

In another interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman hours after an election was called, Mr Farron was pushed on the issue again.

She challenged him: “A while back I asked you whether it was true that you believed homosexuality was a sin, and you struggled to answer. Now you’ve had a while to consider that question, what is the answer?”

The Lib Dem leader insisted: “I don’t think I struggled to answer, I talked about how I’m not in a position to be making theological pronouncements. I can promise you one thing, over the next six weeks I’m not going to spend my time talking theology or making pronouncements.

“As a liberal, I’m passionate about equality – about equal marriage, about equal rights for LGBT people, fighting not just for LGBT rights in this country but overseas.

“Just because I’m a Christian, it would be a bit boring for everybody if over the next six weeks I’m being asked to make theological pronouncements. I am not planning to do so.”

His comments were seized upon by Labour supporters as evidence of anti-LGBT beliefs.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones wrote: “This is an absolute disgrace. But hey, I’m just some sinning gay, what would I know.”

Others on social media branded him an “illiberal democrat”

Defenders of Mr Farron pointed to his enthusiastic support for LGBT causes since becoming leader as taking precedence over his personal views, however.

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Featherstone, the architect of the country’s equal marriage law, fired back: “Turn your attack on those religions that make their followers choose between their sexuality and their faith. Tim is solid on lgbt rights”

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

Since becoming Lib Dem leader, he has been a consistent progressive campaigner on LGBT issues.

Just last week, Mr Farron was leading calls against the persecution of gay people in Chechnya, lobbying Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the issue.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn did not respond to PinkNews’ request for comment on Chechnya and did not make a public statement.

Through his time in Parliament Mr Farron has lobbied on a number of other issues, championing transgender equality and criticising the blanket ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men.

He also personally intervened in Parliament to help secure the safety of a transgender woman who has been sent to a man’s prison.

Two out transgender women are expected to stand as Lib Dem candidates in June’s election.

More: Gay, LGBT, Lib Dem, liberal democrat, Liberal Democrats, tim farron

Click to comment

Swipe sideways to view more posts!

Dismiss

Loading ...

Close icon