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Evangelical group claims Christians will face ‘criminal sanctions’ after Tim Farron gay sex row

Nick Duffy June 15, 2017
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An evangelical pressure group has claimed that Tim Farron’s resignation as leader of the Liberal Democrats paves the way for “criminal sanctions” against Christians.

Mr Farron, a devout Christian who led the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats party, resigned yesterday after a poor showing in the general election.

In his leaving speech the leader said he has found it impossible “to live as a committed Christian” while leading a liberal party, referencing repeated questions about his views on homosexuality.

His resignation was apparently sparked when the party’s Shadow Home Secretary Lord Paddick, who is gay, resigned abruptly, citing Mr Farron’s views.
Tim Farron
Following the leader’s resignation, anti-LGBT campaigners have been quick to exploit his comments.

Christian Concern, which lobbies against discrimination protections for LGBT people, proclaimed him the latest in “a long line of casualties”.

The group’s head Andrea Williams said: “[The] castigation of Tim Farron is shocking and upsetting.

“If we continue in this crusade of ‘totalitolerance’, we will enter a harsh and conformist world where Christianity will be ‘no platformed’ and eventually squeezed out of every sphere of public life.

“The elite determines what are toxic unacceptable views. Unless you approve of their ‘new morality’ you are punished. At first comes the loss of privilege, a political position, a place at university, then the detriment: the refusal of a grant and ultimately criminal sanction.”

Ms Williams added: “Tim Farron’s story demonstrates that even those who accept the liberal political agenda wholeheartedly become targets who are unfairly hounded and bullied.

“He was forced to answer questions on the morality of ‘gay sex’ and abortion. During the election campaign he had to choose whether to surrender his conscience and forfeit his soul to the intolerant, marauding elite.”

Prime Minister Theresa May, a vicar’s daughter, was asked whether gay sex was a sin during the election campaign and immediately replied “no”.

However Mr Farron struggled with the issue, evading the question across a number of TV and radio interviews across a period of several weeks.

He eventually told the BBC that he does not think gay sex is sinful, but his resignation statement casts doubt on those words. The leader admitted : “I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.”

In a Q&A with PinkNews before the election, Mr Farron said:  “I am a proud advocate of LGBT equality and have a track record that demonstrates that.

“Initially I chose not to speak out on my views on gay sex as I really didn’t think anyone would want the General Election campaign to turn into a theological debate.

“As a leader of a political party, I don’t (and never will) see my role as making theological pronouncements. Nor did I think my role was to judge what is or isn’t a sin.

“However, it transpired that people formed an impression of me that was false and so I chose to speak out.

“I have made my view clear and now I hope the debate can move forward to addressing the massive injustices many LGBT+ people face in our society and abroad.”

Related topics: Christian, Gay, LGBT, Lib Dem, liberal democrat, Liberal Democrats, Religion, tim farron

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