An evangelical megapastor and author has come out in support of equal marriage, saying that “fidelity” is the important issue, an that the “death” of the “subculture” opposed to equal marriage is taking place.

Rob Bell, spoke on Sunday at Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal church in San Francisco, where he was promoting his new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God, and addressed a question about his views on marriage equality.

He said: “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”

Bell went on to address American evangelism, and said he thought its theologies “don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people”.

“I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told ‘we’re gonna change the thing’ and they haven’t. And they actually have turned away lots of people… We have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent,” he continued.

This is the first time Bell has offered public support for equal marriage and is expected by equal rights advocates to affect the views of others, historically opposed to equal marriage.

In January, leading British evangelical has softened his views on homosexuality, questioning whether Christians could create a “nurturing” and “supportive” environment for gay people.

Steve Chalke, a top evangelical, wrote in the latest edition of Christianity magazine, that he had changed his biblical understanding of homosexuality.

An evangelical Christian man from Tennessee last year caused controversy by pretending to be gay for a year, as research for a new book, and has received criticism from the LGBT community.

Meanwhile in the US, anti-gay evangelist, Scott Lively, said in an interview last week that he thinks gay rights are bringing the “wrath” of God, which is a sign that the world is nearing the “End Days”, just like before Noah’s flood.