Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said marriage equality is not a matter of ‘if’ in the latest Out4Marriage video.
As leader of the Liberal Democrats, he is the most senior politician to make a video stating his support. Clegg is also the first to speak out for equal marriage since the 12-week consultation ended last Thursday.
He says despite provoking a heated debate, the proposals to legalize civil marriages for gay couples were about ‘when and how’ and not ‘a matter of if’.
In the video, Clegg says: ‘I’ve always been very clear on this: love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same too.
‘All couples should be able to make the same commitment to each other, regardless of who they love.
‘I fought for equal marriage before I was in government, and I’m even more committed to making it happen now as a Liberal Democrat and as Deputy Prime Minister.
‘We brought forward our proposals, they’ve provoked a heated debate, but these are proposals about when and how to open up civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples. It’s not a matter of if anymore.
‘And to those who are worried about some of the opposition to this move, or the tone of the debate? Let me just say whether you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, your freedom to love who you choose is a fundamental right in a liberal society – and you will always have our support. That’s why I’m Out4Marriage.’
Out4Marriage allows politicians, celebrities, religious leaders and members of the public to record YouTube videos explaining why they support changing the law to allow gay couples to marry.
The campaign was launched after a YouTube film, Homecoming, featuring a gay marriage proposal between a solider and his boyfriend was viewed more than 700,000 times in a week.
Clegg joins high profile supporters of Out4Marriage including home secretary Theresa May, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, girl group The Saturdays, Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, Advertising Standards Authority chairman Lord Chris Smith, Lib Dem Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone and senior Liberal Judaism Rabbi Ariel Friedlander.
Watch the video here: