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Tim Farron compared sexuality to slavery while defending being a Christian politician

Emma Powys Maurice September 9, 2019

Farron made the offensive comments in an interview to promote his new book about being a Christian politician (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty)

Former Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron suggested that being anti-gay is the modern equivalent of being anti-slavery in a conversation about how Christianity “has always been counter-cultural”.

Farron is an evangelical Christian whose views on LGBT+ issues have frequently landed him in hot water.

He has been repeatedly probed about his beliefs on gay sex after he refused to say whether he believed it was sinful.

In 2017, he attempted to salvage his reputation by telling a BBC interviewer that he did not believe gay sex to be a sin, but later changed his answer and admitted he “regretted” misleading the public on this.

Farron has now written an autobiography about being both a Christian and a liberal politician. Speaking to The Times ahead of its publication, he said he was “deeply traumatised” by his portrayal as a “religious nutter” in the press.

Liberal Democrat MP and former leader Tim Farron (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

He further explained his stance on gay sex using a bizarre comparison with slavery, which suggests that the Church’s non-conformist position on both issues demonstrates that Christianity has always been “counter-cultural”.

Once upon a time a Christian teaching jarred with the culture on slavery. Today it is sexuality. In a hundred years time it will be something else

He said: “If you are a Christian you should be a decent, good-mannered citizen, but you should never feel at home… Once upon a time a Christian teaching jarred with the culture on slavery. Today it is sexuality. In a hundred years time it will be something else.”

By drawing parallels between the two, Farron appears to suggest that in time public opinion will move away from defending LGBT+ rights, just as it did with slavery.

He also ignores the fact that Christian teachings were widely used to justify slavery, with only a minority of Christians protesting it at the time.

The insensitive comment was blasted by people on Twitter, who see it as further evidence that the former Liberal Democrats leader’s views are actually far from liberal.

 

LGBT+ Lib Dems quit party over ‘homophobic’ Phillip Lee.

Last week the Lib Dems were accused of discarding their commitment to LGBT+ rights by allowing the ‘homophobic’ ex-Tory Phillip Lee to join the party against the wishes of several LGBT+ members.

Members stepped down in protest, including the chair of the Lib Dem LGBT+ group, Jennie Rigg, and Cambridge city councillor, Sarah Brown.

Brown explained her decision on Facebook: “Our MPs are willing to burn their own LGBT+ section to the ground for a publicity stunt that’s already fading from the news cycle.”

The party leader Jo Swinson defended the decision to admit Lee to the party, saying: “Phillip brings almost 10 years of parliamentary experience and decades of professional expertise. He shares our commitment to prevent a disastrous no-deal Brexit, and to stop Brexit altogether.”

PinkNews has contacted Tim Farron for comment.

 

 


More: LGBT+ Lib Dems, Liberal Democrats, the times, tim farron

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