Tim Farron: I don't think gay sex is a sin

Media caption,
Tim Farron: I'm careful about how I talk about my faith

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron says he does not believe gay sex is a sin, following questions about his views on the subject.

Mr Farron said political leaders should not "pontificate on theological matters".

But he said it had become "an issue" and that he wanted the focus to be on the general election.

He has recently been asked repeatedly in media interviews to clarify his views, but had not answered directly.

In an interview with BBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier, he said he did not "want to get into a series of questions unpicking the theology of the Bible".

But he acknowledged it had "become an issue", and did not want people getting the "wrong impression" about his views.

"I don't believe that gay sex is a sin," he said.

"I take the view though that as a political leader, my job is not to pontificate on theological matters."

Mr Farron said that with a general election campaign under way, it was important to be talking about "big issues" like health and social care and Brexit.

"I am quite careful about how I talk about my faith. I do not bang on about it, I do not make a secret out of it," he said.

"On reflection, it makes sense to actually answer this direct question since it's become an issue."

He also said the Lib Dems had "undoubtedly the best record" on gay rights out of all political parties.

As well as questions from the media about his views on gay sex, Mr Farron was also asked last week by Conservative MP Nigel Evans in Parliament whether he believed being gay was a sin.

"I do not," he replied.