He has been accused of shifting the goal posts and playing politics with marriage to curry favor with homosexual groups.
Mr. Clegg’s comments show that religious groups cannot rely upon Government assurances on the issue.
Meanwhile, Nick Clegg has hoisted a gay pride rainbow flag over Whitehall in the run up to a London gay pride event this weekend.
Under current Government plans for gay marriage, same-sex weddings could only take place in civic, not religious, settings.
But Nick Clegg wants the plans to go further. He said: “I think that in exactly the same way that we shouldn’t force any church to conduct gay marriage, we shouldn’t stop any church that wants to conduct gay marriage.