Ruth Davidson has told how her religious faith presented the “biggest issue” she faced when coming to terms with her own sexuality.
The Scottish Conservative leader said she had found it “very difficult” to see how parts of the Bible referred to homosexuality.
She admitted she “didn’t want to be gay” when she was younger and said: “I struggled with it for a number of years actually before I would admit it to myself.”
Ms Davidson spoke openly on the subject during an interview on BBC Radio Scotland’s Stark Talk programme.
Speaking in the interview she told presenter Edi Stark of her Church of Scotland upbringing and said she still has faith to this day.
Ms Davidson said that she did not come out as being gay until she was in her mid-20s. “I’d known for a few years before that,” she told the radio show.
“I was in the BBC, so it wasn’t a workplace issue, I think it’s fair to say, that’s where I was working at the time, so that was fine.
“I think the biggest issue for me actually was the issues with my faith.
“To read Paul’s letter to various churches around the globe talking about ‘homosexual offenders’ - the phrase in the international version - and talking about idolators and adulterers and thieves being ranked together was very, very difficult.”
Ms Davidson said that it took some time for her to “come to some sort of peace with myself” about her sexuality.
“It’s something I struggled with, I didn’t want to be gay. I’m not sure how many people do. It’s been amazing the difference, even in my lifetime, how things have changed.
“I struggled with it for a number of years actually before I would admit it to myself, never mind to anybody else. But there comes a point at which you make a decision and that decision is either that you’re going to live a lie for the rest of your life, or you’re going to trust yourself, and that’s what I had to do.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Ms Davidson also insisted she would never want David Cameron’s job.
“I’m incredibly lucky in that I get to regularly see behind the door of No10 and it was like the loneliest job, second only probably to being the President of the United States.
“Running a G7 country is not for the faint-hearted. I don’t think I’m up to it and I don’t want it. I don’t want the impact that would have on my life and all of the people that I love.”
Ms Davidson now lives with partner Jen Wilson, from Wexford in Ireland, for whom she has publicly declared her love.
She said: “She’s great. Honestly, she’s just super.”