Evangelical Franklin Graham endorses Tim Farron as they both oppose gay sex
An anti-LGBT evangelist who accused President Obama of “spreading immorality” has defended Tim Farron.
American preacher Franklin Graham praised the former Liberal Democrat leader after he admitted lying about his views on gay sex.
Farron told Premier Christian Radio that he does believe gay sex is sinful, despite telling voters otherwise during the 2017 General Election.
The ex-party leader was roundly attacked after saying gay sex is sinful, including by current Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable.
Party activists called for serious action against the MP, while a source told PinkNews he would be dealt with properly.
But it seems he has finally found a friend in preacher and Trump ally Franklin Graham.
Mr Graham said he applauds Farron “for having the guts to come out and say he made a mistake”.
Writing on his Facebook page, which is followed by more than six million people, Mr Graham remarked: “He says he was foolish to say gay sex isn’t a sin.
“Standing with the truth of the Word of God can be hard. It makes waves. It’s unpopular with many. God’s Word is “alive and sharper than any two-edged sword.”
He added: “It’s only human to want to say what people want to hear; but as followers of Christ we have to love people enough to tell them the truth. God did.
“He loves us and wants each person to be saved and delivered from their sins.”
Mr Farron, who served as leader of the Liberal Democrats until 2017, was toppled by a row over gay sex – as the evangelical Christian was repeatedly probed about his beliefs.
For weeks during the General Election campaign, Mr Farron evaded questions in interviews about whether he believed gay sex is sinful.
At the height of the row, he attempted to salvage his reputation in a BBC interview, telling the broadcaster that he did not believe gay sex to be a sin.
He had told the BBC: “I don’t believe gay sex is a sin… if people have got the wrong opinion of what I think of those issues, it’s right to correct it.”
Mr Farron quit as Lib Dem leader a few weeks later, after facing an internal party coup.
In an interview with Premier Christian Radio today, Mr Farron admitted that his statements to the BBC were not true.
Asked if he felt under pressure to change his message in the BBC interview, he said: “Yeah. The bottom line is, of course I did.
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“There are things I said, including that, that I regret. There was a sense in which I felt, I’ve got to get this off my table.
“There was a General Election and all they wanted to do was talk about my Christian beliefs. I foolishly and wrongly attempted to push it away by giving an answer that frankly was not right.”
He added: “I found myself in a situation, partly because of events beyond my control and partly because of things that were my fault, where I either had to be compromising my faith and say things that were not true – or be true to my faith, and be in a situation where I sucked all of the attention away from our main message.”
After the BBC interview, PinkNews spoke to multiple senior sources within the Liberal Democrats, who alleged that Mr Farron had deliberately lied about his beliefs.