Wednesday, May 2, 2012
David Furnish on Gay Marriage
The issue is on a par with the campaigns for race and women’s equality, the film director claimed.
He spoke out as church and state head for a showdown over plans to legalise gay marriage by 2015.
Furnish, 49, told Metro: ‘I think we’re living in really pivotal times. It’s the next great battle.
‘Look at the history of civil rights relating to people’s nationality and colour. 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.’
Last month, equalities minister Lynne Featherstone launched a 12-week consultation on plans to allow same-sex couples to marry in a civil ceremony. The plans have united Catholic, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh leaders in their opposition.
But Canadian Furnish, who entered a civil partnership with Sir Elton in 2005, said he feared gays and other minorities were ‘often living in a human rights ghetto’.
However, he said there had been some astonishing progress, including David Cameron’s pledge to cut off foreign aid to Commonwealth countries which criminalised lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.
He added that Hillary Clinton had also given a ‘big, long beautiful speech where she said gay rights are human rights’.
But he insisted: ‘I think we really need to be pushing more and more towards inclusiveness, where we’re all just rubbing shoulders together.’