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David Furnish says gay marriage is 'next great battle'

Sir Elton John's husband compares campaign for gay marriage to black civil rights movement

David Furnish says gay marriage is 'next great battle'

Elton John's husband David Furnish says gay marriage is the next battle in the equal rights movement.

The Canadian filmmaker compared the global campaign to legalize same-sex marriage to the black civil rights movement in the US.

'I think we’re living in really pivotal times. It’s the next great battle,' the Canadian filmmaker told the Metro.

‘Look at the history of civil rights relating to people’s nationality and color.

'Black people were getting the right to vote in America not that long ago – within lifetimes – and parts of the world, where women don’t have any rights at all or have very limited rights.'

Furnish, who entered a civil partnership with the Rocket Man singer in 2004, spoke to the British newspaper amid growing opposition from religious leaders to the UK government's plans to give gay couples equal marriage rights.

A 12-week public consultation on gay marriage was launched by equalities minister Lynne Featherstone last month.

Despite civil partnerships being introduced in 2005, giving gay couples equal legal rights, the change in the law would allow partners to be able to take the same vows and commitments as straight couples.

Furnish added that he feared gays and other minorities were ‘often living in a human rights ghetto’ but praised world leaders, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Prime Minister David Cameron, for threatening to cut aid to countries which criminalize LGBT people.

However, he said the way forward was 'to be pushing more and more towards inclusiveness, where we’re all just rubbing shoulders together.'

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