George Michael: gays already have equal marriage rights

Civil partnerships already offer same-sex couples the “same rights” as married couples, George Michael has said.

The singer, who is openly homosexual, said: “Civil registration partnerships are legally correct. They give people the same rights as people in marriage.

“But I don’t believe in forcing it and I think it will fail if you force churches who don’t believe in it to have gay marriage ceremonies.”

Redefine

Mr Michael’s comments, which were made to a Scottish radio station, come as the Governments at both Westminster and Holyrood consider plans to redefine marriage.

The Scottish Government had been expected to announce whether it intended to proceed with same-sex marriage earlier this week.

But following a meeting of the Cabinet on Tuesday the decision was delayed until later this month.

Snubbing

The SNP-led Government has however ruled out a public referendum on the issue, snubbing a request by the country’s top Roman Catholic.

The refusal prompted Cardinal Keith O’Brien to turn up the heat on the Government.

He said: “The serious implications for freedom of belief and expression of redefining marriage should be as important to a free society as any constitutional matter.”

Unprecedented

He added: “In light of the unprecedented strength of response to the consultation paper, I remain eager to hear the outcome of the consultation and to have an indication of how the people of Scotland regard the issue.”

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