The British comedian Julian Clary has compared the current push for equal marriage in the UK to the suffragette struggle of the fin de siècle, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Clary, well-known as a stand-up and as a pantomime star, is openly gay, and has a long-term partner. He said that the extension of civil marriage to gay couples was a measure of ‘proper equality,’ comparing it to the struggle women faced 100 years ago to obtain the right to vote.

“When women were given the vote, some people talked about society crumbling – and it didn’t,” he told the Telegraph. “Gay marriage is nothing to worry about. It is about being civilised.”

He also said that the Prime Minister was ‘brave’ to support equal marriage, despite opposition from backbenchers, but added that he was disappointed it had not been included in the Queen’s Speech. He urged David Cameron to ‘get on with it.’

Although some prominent Tories, such as Owen Paterson and Philip Hammond have spoken against equal marriage, senior members of the government, including the Home Secretary Theresa May have joined the Out4Marriage campaign.