Stephen Fry has denounced critics of same sex marriages claiming there are 260 animal species that have gay tendencies but only humans are homophobic.
The author, actor and presenter also accused the Church of England of caving in to “screeching” extremists who he claims have spread lies about gay marriage.
Fry, who is gay, spoke out in a new video, for the Out4Marriage campaign, which has persuaded a string of celebrities and politicians to back its calls for reform.
During a three minute monologue, he says gay people “used to be regarded as villains because we were so bohemian and outrageous and we eschewed family values, but we’re not.
“We’re human beings like everybody else and we believe first and foremost in love.
“At least 260 species of animal have been noted exhibiting homosexual behaviour but only one species of animal ever, so far as we know, has exhibited homophobic behaviour — and that’s the human being.
“So ask which is really natural.”
He said it was “unfair” of Church leaders to oppose same-sex weddings to appease “the more extreme end” of their membership.
He said that it was wrong that any religious leaders would be forced to carry out same sex marriage ceremonies if they did not believe in them.
The situation was similar to that of second marriages – which some clergyman also opposed but are allowed under church rules.
“There are other faiths like Quakers and Congregationalists and Unitarians and the Liberal Reform part of the Jewish faith who are actually extremely keen,” he said.
“They feel their communion won’t be complete unless it includes gay marriage because they believe in social justice and equality too.
“It’s wrong, in a country like ours, which has an established Church, just because their more extreme end is screeching with outrage at the idea of this, that we are not allowed to be married.
“It’s unfair on plenty of other religious people and it is misrepresenting what we require, which is only the same as anybody else, and that’s to express our love in the fullest possible way of commitment.”
Joseph Musgrave, for the Out4Marriage campaign, said “Stephen Fry has brought his own inimitable style to a point we have long sought to clarify.
“No religious group should be in any way forced to conduct or solemnise same-sex marriages.
A Church of England spokesman said it continued to debate the issue.