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Are you following Leviticus? Tim Farron asked 11 times if gay sex is a sin, still not clear (LISTEN)

April 24, 2017

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron seems unable to tell voters whether he believes gay sex is a sin.

The row rumbled on for another day Sunday, after he recorded a painful radio interview in which he was asked 11 times if he believes gay sex is a sin.

He still couldn’t say.

A row erupted last week when Mr Farron, whose pro-European party is expected to make gains in the UK’s snap June election, was asked whether he thinks gay sex is sinful in a Channel 4 interview.

Mr Farron dodged the question, saying: “I’m not in a position to be making theological pronouncements.”

When LBC spoke to Mr Farron on Sunday, they continued to ask what his opinion was.

Reporter Vincent McAviney said: “Are you following Leviticus on this?

“Is it a sin for a man to lie with a man as with a woman?”

Mr Farron called it a “ridiculous question for someone who is a political leader”, refusing to give a yes or no answer.

The reporter then pointed out he was working on the Sabbath and wearing mixed fabrics, though he is not a shellfish eater – all things prohibited by the bible.

Listen to the full awkward interview below:

His refusal to answer the gay sex question since the election has been met with widespread criticism, including from TV host Sue Perkins, Guardian columnist Owen Jones, and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.

The Lib Dem leader has failed to respond to numerous requests for comment from PinkNews in the past week.

Tim Farron

Farron appeared on Peston on Sunday, shortly before speaking to LBC, telling Robert Peston it was “ludicrous” to suggest he thinks being gay is a sin.

Peston asked the Lib Dem leader about an Observer interview where Farron refused to answer the question of whether he thinks “gay sex is a sin”.

He simply said he had been asked the questions “loads of times”, saying “being gay is not a sin”.

“It is possible I’m not the only person getting tired of this line of questioning,” he added.

He went on to deflect the question by suggesting that in the UK he had to “pretend” he is not religious.

Farron was criticised by Labour’s Liz Kendall on the show, who said many people would be “appalled” and by former Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, who said as a “church goer too”, he has no problem with saying gay sex is not a sin.

Speaking to Press Association Mr Farron added: “I have never judged anybody, I am massively in favour of people being absolutely free to have the right to love who they love, be who they are, marry who they marry.

“My belief for equality runs through me like a stick of rock and likewise through our party as well. I am a liberal to my fingertips and that especially applies to LGBT rights.”

“As a liberal I believe in human rights, in equality for every single person … and LGBT rights are absolutely central to those human rights I am massively passionate about.”

“You just need to look at my record.”

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

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

This was unlike Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who 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.

More: Gay, General Election 2017, LGBT, Lib Dem, liberal democrat, Religion, Sex, sin, tim farron

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