On the eve of the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales, Sir Richard Branson has written a blog post offering "many, many congratulations to all of the couples getting married tomorrow, and all who follow them in the days, months and years to come."
Branson's Virgin Group bought well-known London gay club Heaven in 1982, and in a piece for The Times
earlier this week, the politican and journalist Michael Parris recalls how people like himself and Ian McKellen used the club in 1987 as a base from which to plan campaigns for gay equality, in association with Stonewall.
In his blog post today (March 28), Richard Branson writes: "We’re proud to have played even a small part in such an important movement. The acceptance of equal marriage in the UK has shown the country at its best."
He continues by asking people to remember the parts of the world where there is still much to be done for gay equality.
"Now everyone must turn their time and attention to help gay people who are being persecuted in many less understanding countries. While we should all celebrate this progress, as recent events everywhere from Uganda to Russia have shown, there is a long way to go."
The first same-sex marriages in England and Wales take place tomorrow (March 29). Read Branson's full post on the Virgin website.