(Photo: CNN via The Christian Post)
Mitt Romney refused to answer a question on whether homosexuality is a sin while on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight.
The former Massachusetts governor who is running for president was pressed about the polarizing issue this week but all Romney replied with was "nice try."
"Do you personally think homosexuality is a sin?" Morgan asked, well aware of Romney's Mormon faith.
"Nice try," Romney answered. "It's a valid question and my answer is nice try."
The CNN interview with Romney is a two-part interview, with the second half airing Tuesday night. A preview of Tuesday's show reveals the GOP candidate – whom Morgan refers to as the squeakiest, cleanest man in politics in America – keeping mum on what he believes or what his church believes about gays.
"I separate quite distinctly matters of personal faith from the leadership that one has in a political sense," he told Morgan.
The CNN journalist immediately reacted, "Can you do that?"
"Absolutely," Romney insisted. "You don't begin to apply the doctrines of a religion to a responsibility for guiding a nation or for guiding a state."
Romney has affirmed his stance against gay marriage. He indicated that he has no problems hiring gays and stands against discrimination over sexual orientation when it comes to employment.
But when it comes to articulating his personal beliefs about homosexuality, he is staying silent. Romney was asked on CNN to at least outline the Mormon position on the issue.
Again, he remained tight-lipped. He instead suggested that Morgan take it up with the church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
"I'm not a spokesman for my church," he maintained.
"One thing I'm not going to do in running for president is become a spokesman for my church or apply a religious test which is forbidden by the Constitution. I'm not going there."
What Romney did submit was: "I'm going to tell you that as a leader of the American people, I will do everything in my power to treat all people with respect and dignity, and to – and to advance the rights people have to choose their own course in life."
Romney told Morgan that he plans to stay low until Labor Day to avoid overexposure, which he called a candidate's "greatest enemy."
But his remarks on CNN this week will likely reignite debate over his beliefs and his stance on homosexuality.
According to the LDS church's law of chastity, "homosexual activity is a serious sin. It is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality. It distorts loving relationships and prevents people from receiving the blessings that can be found in family life and the saving ordinances of the gospel."
The question over whether Romney's Mormon faith matters among voters continues to come up. Some Christians consider the LDS church a cult. A Pew Research Center survey last week found that a quarter of Americans are less likely to back a Mormon for president.
Still, Romney is currently the frontrunner in many polls as the GOP presidential nominee. A Tuesday Washington Post-ABC poll found Romney leading other Republican hopefuls with 47 percent of the vote and in a dead heat with President Obama.