George Michael: Gay marriage shouldn't be forced

George Michael has suggested gay marriage should not be introduced if it means that churches are forced to perform the ceremonies on their premises.

The openly gay singer was speaking to Scottish radio station Clyde 1 last week.

He 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."

The UK and Scottish Governments are both considering changing the law to legalise same-sex marriage.

Churches north and south of the border have protested the move. Although churches have been reassured that they will not be forced to perform the ceremonies, there are concerns that lawsuits will be brought against clergy who refuse.

Elton John recently suggested it would not be the end of the world if gay marriage was not legalised.

"I don't need the Church to ratify my relationship," he said.

"If marriage happens then great, I'm not going to say no. It's a step to equality and there is obviously a debate on both sides. But it certainly isn't going to ruin civilisation."

He added: "Heterosexual marriage has done more to ruin the idea of marriage than anything else."