Harry Potter author JK Rowling has defended her decision to announce that the character of Albus Dumbledore is gay.

Rowling spoke to Edinburgh University’s Student newspaper on the subject in an extensive interview.

“Homophobia is a fear of people loving, more than it is of the sexual act. There seems to be an innate distaste for the love involved, which I find absolutely extraordinary. The issue is love. It’s not about sex. So that’s what I knew about Dumbledore,” she said.

Rowling first revealed that the wizard Dumbledore was intended to be gay at a reading in October last year at Carnegie Hall in New York.

The news led to an instant media frenzy around the issue and added impetus to calls by American fundamentalist Christians, already incensed by its supernatural themes, to ban the books.

Responding to the threats of censorship, Rowling told the newspaper that, “Fundamentalism is, ‘I will not open my mind to look on your side of the argument at all. I won’t read it, I won’t look at it, I’m too frightened.’ That’s what’s dangerous about it, whether it be politically extreme, religiously extreme.”

In fact, fundamentalists across all the major religions, if you put them in a room, they’d have bags in common! They hate all the same things, it’s such an ironic thing,” she said.

Rowling is reportedly the world’s bestselling author; her Harry Potter series of books has sold close to 400 million copies around the world.

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