Gay broadcaster, actor, author, presenter and wit Stephen Fry has slammed the Church of England of caving to extremists who have spread lies about marriage equality.
The atheist QI presenter said religious leaders who oppose same-sex weddings are trying to appease the ‘extreme end’ of their membership.
Fry reiterated the UK government’s continued declarations which say no one will be forced to carry out gay weddings if it is against their religious beliefs.
In a video for the Out4Marriage campaign, he says: ‘Those who are against gay marriage are somehow spreading this disinformation that we are going to say “You, you Reverend so-and-so, are forced to hold this gay marriage in your church”.
‘It’s not true! People who run churches, synagogues or mosques are not forced to marry previously divorced people, for example.'
Fry then turned on the Church of England, which is currently deeply divided over the issue.
‘It’s wrong, in a country like ours, which has an established Church, just because their more extreme end is screeching with outrage at the idea of this, that we are not allowed to be married,’ he said.
‘It’s unfair on plenty of other religious people and it is misrepresenting what we require, which is only the same as anybody else, and that’s to express our love in the fullest possible way of commitment.’
Fry, who is currently starring as puritan comic villain Malvolio in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, said while gay people used to be known as ‘bohemian and outrageous’, they are really just human beings who want to be loved just like everybody else.
The Out4Marriage video ends with a final argument, where Fry finishes: ‘At least 270 species of animal have been noted exhibiting homosexual behavior but only one species of animal ever, so far as we know, has exhibited homophobic behavior – and that’s the human being.
'Ask yourself what is really natural.’
The UK government is expected to release the findings of their consultation on marriage equality soon.
Watch Stephen Fry’s Out4Marriage video here: