The American playwright Terrence McNally has married his longterm partner in Washington DC.

McNally, 71, had a civil partnership with lawyer and Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy, 46, seven years ago in Vermont but the pair wanted to marry.

The playwright told Associated Press: “We want the ‘M’ word … We don’t like separate but equal. We want equal.”

The couple live in New York, which recognises gay marriages performed in other states such as DC, where the practice is legal.

McNally hit the news last month when a production of his play Corpus Christi was cancelled at Tarleton State University in Texas. It will now be shown in Fort Worth.

The controversial work depicts Jesus being seduced by Judas and conducting a gay marriage for two apostles.

Despite critical acclaim, the play provoked protests and bomb threats when it was performed in the United States in 1998 and McNally received a death edict, or fatwa, from a UK-based Islamic group.