The Law Society, the body which represents solicitors in England and Wales and is a powerful voice on legal matters has backed the Government's plans to legalise marriage for same-sex couples.
The support comes in a week when the proposals have been in the spotlight, after the Church of England said that it would refuse to conduct gay marriage ceremonies even if the law was changed.
Jim Wotton is the President of the Law Society.
"Our response (to this legislation) is based on our commitment to equality before the law and to equality and diversity in society generally," he said in as statement.
"Such an important social institution as marriage should be equally accessible to all. From a legal perspective, there is no justification for the current discrimination and lack of equal access to marriage to remain in place," he added.
Churches would not be compelled to provide marriage services to same-sex couples; however, the Law Society agrees that churches and faiths that would host services should be allowed to do so by law.
The issue of same-sex marriage is being debated in several countries around the world. The European Court of Human Rights has several cases challenging national laws on its books, but so far has said that the legalisation of gay marriage was a matter for national parliaments.
At present, same-sex couples are only allowed to be joined in a civil partnership, which is a legal institution akin to marriage.
Church leaders hit out this week, claiming that the Government's plans were ill thought through and would create a rift between the Church and the State.
"Several major elements of the government's proposals have not been thought through properly and are not legally sound," said the Church in a formal written statement on the proposals.
The matter is due to come before Parliament before the next election in 2015, although some Conservative MPs believe the proposals should be delayed to allow the legislature to focus on other matters.
The Law Society supports government proposals for same-sex marriage (Family Law Week)