Marc Almond has questioned same-sex couples who wish to get married in churches that refuse to welcome them “with open arms,” he also thinks it’s a mistake to expect religion to modernise.

In an interview with the London Evening Standard, the Soft Cell singer said he did not feel the “need” to enter into a civil partnership or marriage with his long-term partner.

“I think a civil partnership or a register office marriage is a modern, sensible thing to do,” Almond said. “So you have something in law that means that when you die some greedy relative doesn’t come out of the woodwork and grab your chattels. But I’m not an advocate of marriage. I grew up as a child of an unhappy marriage so I know it is not always best for children.”

“And why, as a gay man, would you want to get married in the house of a religion that doesn’t welcome you with open arms, that thinks you are a sinner? To be blessed by a supernatural deity?”

The 55-year-old said it was a mistake to expect religion to modernise: “It is what it is, a set of rules, and you either adhere to it or you don’t. You can’t say, ‘Well, I want to invent a new kind of Christianity where you invite all sorts of other people in’: that’s a different sort of cult.”

In 2004, Almond was almost killed in a motorcycle accident and the last few years have been a “struggle” for him. “I have a liver disease, a progressive sclerosis, which I usually keep controlled,” he said to the Standard. “But I had to have a spleenectomy and my gall bladder removed over the course of last year, which put me out of action for about three months.

“I had been ill before that. My health was quite depleted and I was kind of swollen. I was very tired and anaemic. The past few years have been a bit of a struggle but I have never stopped working. I’m a great believer in getting on with things.”