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Do people actually care what politicians think about gay sex?

Nick Duffy April 28, 2017

A poll has found that most people don’t care if politicians think that gay sex is a sin.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has been embroiled in a row this month after he was asked in an interview with Channel 4 last week whether he believes gay sex is sinful.

The politician evaded the question, and subsequently dodged it dozens of times across an entire week before proclaiming in a BBC interview that gay sex is not inherently sinful.Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

Following the row, pollster ComRes was commissioned to find out what the public thinks.

It found that one in four (25 per cent) of people think that politicians who believe gay sex is a sin should not be allowed to hold office, while 67 per cent said they should be.

Meanwhile, two thirds of Brits agreed with the statement “If a politician believes that gay sex is a sin they should be free to express it”. One third (32 per cent) disagreed.

The polling was paid for by the Christian Institute, which holds a number of anti-LGBT stances.

The data was seized on by the body to assert that Christianity is being “forced out from the public square”.

Colin Hart, Director of the Christian Institute said: “The intolerance shown towards a politician, just because he was thought to believe that gay sex is wrong, is deeply troubling.

“The poll shows Mr Farron needn’t have worried. Most voters think politicians should be free to speak on such matters.

“Historic Christian belief holds that gay sex, adultery and sex before heterosexual marriage (fornication) are wrong.

“This belief is also shared by virtually all the other world faiths including Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam.

“Politicians should not be silenced or hounded out of office just for holding these views, otherwise we diminish our democracy and risk marginalising millions of ordinary people.

“We are deeply concerned at the way those with beliefs out of kilter with dominant secular thought are being targeted and forced out from the public square.”

Mr Farron doesn’t actually think gay sex is a sin.

He said: “I don’t believe gay sex is a sin. I take the view that as a political leader, my job is not to pontificate on theological matters but this has become a talking point, an issue – and in that case, if people have got the wrong opinion of what I think of those issues, it’s right to correct it.

“Asked why his answer had changed, he said: “I’m quite careful about how I talk about my faith… I don’t bang on about it, but I don’t make a secret of it either.

“When I get asked theological questions, which I don’t think many other politicians do get asked, I took the view that it would be better for me to say this is a matter of theological nitpicking, and let’s talk about the politics.”

He added: “It’s really important I answer it clearly today, and say, it’s not [a sin]. I don’t feel it is.”

Asked about his previous evasiveness, he said: “I didn’t want to get into a series of questions unpicking the Bible. What I want is to make sure we deal with something that’s become an issue.

“I think that’s something that’s important to say when they get the wrong idea of you.”

PinkNews Q&A: Submit your questions for Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

More: Gay, gay sex, LGBT, Lib Dem, Liberal Democrats, sin, tim farron

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