29/06/2014 11:18 BST | Updated 29/06/2014 11:59 BST

Elton John Says 'Jesus Would Have Backed Gay Marriage'

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 13: Sir Elton John and David Furnish attend as honored guests at the American Fertility Association Illuminations LA 2013 on April 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AFA)

Elton John has said he believes Jesus would be fine with gay marriage if he were alive today.

The veteran singer, who plans to marry his civil partner David Furnish next year in a "very quiet" ceremony, told Sky News that in his view, Jesus would accept it because he was "all about love and compassion".

He claimed that rules preventing gay priests from marrying and requiring Catholic priests to be celibate were "old and stupid".

Elton John and David Furnish are to tie the knot in May

"If Jesus was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen, " he told Sky News.

"He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about."

He praised Pope Francis for making the Catholic Church more about "inclusiveness", saying that this "has to be encouraged by the Church of England as well".

He described the pontiff as a "wonderful" man whose tolerance was an example to the Church.

"The new Pope has been wonderful, he's excited me so much," Sir Elton said.

"He's stripped it [the Church] down to the bare bones and said it's all basically about love."

Sir Elton previously courted controversy on the subject in 2010 when he declared that Jesus was gay, telling a magazine: "I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems."

Even the rain did not stop tens of thousands of people marching in London on Saturday for the London Pride Parade.

#Londonpride was trending on Twitter as walking groups and floats made their way from Baker Street to Whitehall in a riot of colour and costumes that sought to promote LBGT rights.

The parade went through central London from Baker Street to Whitehall

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