The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg has joined David Cameron in commenting on the reports that the government is to allow same-sex marriages to take place in churches.

Mr Clegg said: “I’m a supporter and always have been of same sex marriage, because I think marriage is a wonderful thing, a wonderful institution.

“It’s a demonstration of a couple’s commitment to each other, of their loving relationship and they wish to celebrate that in the eyes of society and I think we should make that celebration, that ceremony if you like, available to everyone regardless of who they are.

“It’s very important to remember that in our plans we’re not going to force any church or any religious denomination to hold same sex marriage ceremonies if they don’t want to but I do think it’s time that we allow any couple, no matter who they are, to marry if that’s what they want to do.”

Earlier this year, Mr Clegg said: “This is a personal view at the moment, but I think that in exactly the same way that we shouldn’t force any church to conduct gay marriage, we shouldn’t stop any church that wants to conduct gay marriage.”

Speaking after an event in Redditch on Friday afternoon, Mr Cameron said: I’m a massive supporter of marriage and I don’t want gay people to be excluded from a great institution.

“But let me be absolutely 100% clear, if there is any church or any synagogue or any mosque that doesn’t want to have a gay marriage it will not, absolutely must not, be forced to hold it.

“That is absolutely clear in the legislation.

“Also let me make clear, this is a free vote for Members of Parliament but personally I will be supporting it.”