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article imageVeteran pop star Cliff Richard says he supports gay marriage

By Andrew John     Oct 17, 2011 in Lifestyle
The British pop star and one-time teen idol Cliff Richard has come out in favour of gay marriage, currently illegal in the UK.
He says he wants his gay friends to be able to share the same rights in marriage as straight couples.
Richard, who dominated the British pop scene in the late fifties and early sixties, told BBC Radio 4: “I don’t see why gay people shouldn’t be married. I have got friends, same-sex couples, who have been together for decades. So for them it’s marriage even though they can’t call it marriage.
“It probably isn’t marriage as such because we recognize it as a man and woman and having babies. [But] that’s neither here nor there for me.”
Richard (71) – who became Sir Cliff in 1995 when he was knighted – has always avoided talking about his own sexuality. He currently lives with a former Catholic priest, John McElynn, whom he describes as his property manager.
When asked about his sexuality, he has said it’s the commitment that counts. “[L]et’s face it, homosexuality has been legal for more than thirty years,” he says in his autobiography, My Life, My Way (written with Penny Junor). “I’ll leave the judging to God.”
Richard, a committed Christian, courted controversy this week by saying he does not wish to be allowed to live on for too long if he ever develops dementia.
Mother’s death with Alzheimer’s
Richard “discussed the illness with one of his sisters after they watched their late mother suffer from Alzheimer’s disease,” says a report today in Scotland’s Daily Record.
“I have discussed it with my sister. I said, ‘Look, if this happens to me […] I’ll do the same for you if you’ll do it for me, don’t let it go on too long.’
“If it happened [to me] when I was 90, 20 years from now, they might well have allowed euthanasia or something like that.
“Dementia does not take your life – but it removes it away from you. You don’t have a life. It just stops you living.”
Richard’s mother died in 2007 after battling with Alzheimer’s for 10 years.
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