British pop singer Cliff Richard has come out in favor of gay marriage.

Great Britain currently recognizes the unions of gay and lesbian couples with civil partnerships, which offer most of the legal protections of marriage. Last month, the British government backed a plan to make gay marriage legal in Britain before 2015. The plan has the endorsement of Prime Minister David Cameron, who heads the Conservative Party.

“I don't see why gay people shouldn't be married,” the 71-year-old Richard told BBC Radio 4 “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 a woman and having babies. [But] that's neither here nor there for me,” he added.

According to the UK gay website Pink News, Richard's sexual orientation has been the subject of rumors, which he has neither confirmed nor denied.

“I am sick to death of the media's speculation about it,” he wrote in his 2008 autobiography. “What business is it of anyone else's what any of us are as individuals?”