The UK’s leading LGBT media outlets have issued a joint statement today calling on readers to respond to the government’s consultation on how to introduce civil marriage equality between gay and straight couples in England and Wales.

The joint letter is released today with a month to go until the consultation closes on 14 June.

The statement reads as follows:

“We have a very short, but historic, opportunity to help the government introduce same-sex civil marriage in England and Wales.

“All three major parties in Westminster support the move. But a vocal minority of religious extremists are trying to derail it.

“It’s important to note that no religious organization is going to be forced to marry a gay or lesbian couple. That would be completely impossible under the proposed law. However, religious homophobes have taken part in the government’s consultation on same-sex civil marriage in huge numbers, drowning out LGBT voices.

“That’s why the government needs you to take part in the consultation currently online. And that’s why the LGBT media has got together to issue this joint appeal for you to do so.

“Full marriage for lesbian and gay people will strengthen couples and enhance society as a whole. It’s a move that the majority of people in Britain agree with, as they know it will help create a fairer society for everyone.

“Beyond that, it will send out a powerful message to everyone in Britain and the wider world: That lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are no longer second-class citizens and should be treated like everyone else.

“Don’t let fear stand in the way of your future happiness or the future of the next generation of gay teenagers and of thousands of committed gay couples. Don’t let bigotry stop our government from making this a better country.

“The most important thing you can do today is spend five minutes completing the government’s consultation. There’s only a month left to do it and we need thousands of responses. Do it now, before it’s too late, and ask your friends, family and colleagues, whatever their sexuality, to do the same.

“You can take part in the consultation online here: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/consultations/equal-civil-marriage/

The statement is signed by:

Stephen Gray, Pink News
Tris Reid-Smith, Gay Star News
Cliff Joannou, QX
Matthew Todd, Attitude
David Bridle, Boyz
Jane Czyzselska, DIVA
Scott Roberts, Gaydar Radio
Sarah Garrett, g3
David Hudson, Out In The City
Darren Scott, GT (Gay Times)