Angela Eagle, the first female MP to enter a civil partnership, has called on the government to introduce marriage equality legislation and take gay couples out of ‘limbo’.

Labour’s shadow leader of the House of Commons called on Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone to say when a bill would be introduced, the Huffington Post reports.

Speaking on International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia at Parliament, Ms Eagle praised the “bravery” of equal rights campaigners around the world.

Challenging the government on marriage equality laws, she said: “This weekend the defence secretary said it wasn’t a priority and the education minister said he was totally opposed.

“But across the country there are couples who want to know whether to have a civil partnership or wait until the law is changed.

“What they don’t want is to be in limbo while Conservative MPs fight amongst themselves and the government prevaricates.

“David Cameron said it was an important priority and I agree. The government should commit quickly to bringing forward legislation on equal marriage.”

Sir George Young, the leader of the Commons, said the government was currently running a public consultation on the issue.

Ms Eagle’s comments come after vocal opposition by a minority of MPs and claims that the absence of legislation in the Queen’s Speech this month signalled a potential climbdown, which was denied by the government, who have pledged to legislate by 2015. Of the MPs to have made a public statement, the majority are in favour of the move.

PinkNews.co.uk urges readers to fill in the Home Office’s public consultation on how to introduce equality in civil marriage between gay and straight couples before it closes on 14 June.