Speaking today on Premier Christian Radio the former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has said that he now regrets the statement he made during the last general election when he said he did not think gay sex was a sin. This is the latest in the line of remarks he has made since he stood down as leader of the party that has worried me.
I am on record in this very blog as being one of the first LBGT+ Lib Dems to support his bid for the leadership. Based on the conversations I have had with him in person and online about LGBT+ issues and his and my faith.
In my case of course I feel ostracised from the Christian community for being gay and from the LGBT+ community for being a Christian. Now of course Tim Farron is able to support the Lib Dem idea of marriage equality because as a true liberal, LGBT, Christian I knew that the state had no right to interfere in how individual faith groups govern themselves. No LGBT+ Christian wants a faith group to marry them in a same sex marriage that doesn't want them.
Today however now I'm not sure if all the conversations I have had with Tim have really seen the progress I thought I had seen. I'm not longer sure if my sharing of my struggles led to him making the decisions he had done or whether this was for expediency and acceptance within the party. I know there are members of my party who are Christians who have risked their position within their church for standing up for LGBT+ issues.
Tim is saying that one group that did not give him advise from within party HQ was fellow Christians. Yet I know many within the party who are Christians of all backgrounds who have been supportive of all that the LGBT+ Lib Dems have brought forward. I also know some who have been against. But nobody shall be enslaved by conformity is and underlying core value of our party. The equal marriage policy that our party brought forward into law allowed freedom for religion and religions. Somehow today it feels that some of the Christians and one of the most prominent ones regrets having allowed freedom from religion.
One of friends in politics who took the other stance when Tim made those comments during the general election today has said he expects acts of contrition, maybe this is what this is or maybe I was just used and had wool pulled over my eyes.
Have I been played? Have I been used? Tonight I don't have the answers. But I do feel hurt by the comments today taking back a comment I lauded at the time it was made. Something I said at the time that proved the leader got it and stood by his liberalism above all else.
Now? Who knows?