Michael Cashman has become the first member of the European Parliament to join the Out4Marriage campaign. The former star of British soap opera EastEnders says that equality should also mean that straight couples should be entitled to hold civil partnerships should they wish, something that the Government is not currently proposing.

Labour MEP Mr Cashman, co-founded the gay rights charity Stonewall in 1989 and in 2010 led the calls for the charity to give its support to political plans for equal marriage, after the Liberal Democrats, part of the UK’s governing Coalition had adopted marriage equality as an official party policy.

In his Out4Marriage video, Mr Cashman said: “I just wanted to state quite clearly that I believe that same sex couples should be allowed to get married, as well as hetrosexual couples. Equally hetrosexual couples should be allowed to have civil partnerships if they so wish. That is the brilliance of the concept of equality in our society.

“And if faith organisations and churches want to celebrate this and support it fine, but if they don’t, that’s for them to defend why they’ve taken such an unequal decision. But this is about equality and it’s simply about the equality and the respect of those people who commit to a loving relationship. It’s as simple as that and that’s why I’m Out4Marriage, are you?”

Out4Marriage.org is a global video campaign for the introducition of marriage equality launched by PinkNews.co.uk working with the Coalition for Equal Marriage and LGBT media partners across the world. To make your own video, simply record why you are “Out4Marriage” and email the team of hard-working volunteers managing the project at hello@out4marriage.org. PinkNews.co.uk will regularly share the best videos submitted.