"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.
"Every couple, gay or straight, who wants to celebrate that in the eyes of society should be able to.
"It's very important to remember that under 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 that want to, no matter who they are, to enjoy civil marriage."
Commenting further, long standing campaigner for equal marriage and Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, Stephen Gilbert said:
"It's very welcome news that churches which would like to conduct ceremonies for same-sex couples will be allowed to under the Coalition's proposals.
"The important point is that it will be for churches to decide and no church will have to do anything they don't want to.
"Liberal Democrats have long fought for equal marriage and now we're in government we're committed to making it happen.
"Love is the same, straight or gay, so the civil institution should be the same too. Widening equal marriage to allow churches to opt-in is a very positive step forward."