Jeremy Irons Under Fire Over Gay Marriage Remarks
British actor Jeremy Irons has sparked outrage by suggesting gay marriage in Britain could lead to fathers marrying their sons in a bid to avoid inheritance tax.
The Kingdom of Heaven star made the strange comments in an interview with the Huffington Post in which he claimed a law allowing same-sex couples to officially marry could create a loophole to bypass the U.K.'s heavy death duties.
He told the publication, "Could a father not marry his son?... It's not incest between men (because) incest (law) is there to protect us from inbreeding, but men don't breed..." adding, 'I don't have a strong feeling either way. Living with another animal, whether it be a husband or a dog, is great. It's lovely to have someone to love."
However, Irons' comments have angered some gay rights campaigners. A spokesman for Britain's Stonewall organization has branded the actor's remarks "bizarre" and referenced his role as a corrupt pope in TV show The Borgias, saying, "Few people will agree with Jeremy Irons' bizarre 'concerns' about equal marriage. Sadly his comments do seem to indicate he's taken his role as a Pope in The Borgias a little too seriously."
Openly gay Scottish actor Alan Cumming, who entered into a civil partnership with his husband in London in 2007 and then remarried him in New York last year, also took aim at Irons over the comments, writing in a post on Twitter.com, "I hate when people say they don't have strong feelings about something then proceed to spew offensive and ignorant ones. Jeremy Irons."