Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons has come under fire for bizarrely suggesting that legalising gay marriage could lead to fathers marrying sons to avoid paying tax.
In a video interview with the Huffington Post, Irons, who currently stars in the historical series The Borgias, said he feared that same-sex marriage could create a loophole in inheritance tax laws.
The 64-year-old star first commented that he was concerned that by gay couples having full marriage rights and not just civil unions “somehow we debase, or we change, what marriage is. I just worry about that”.
He went to say: “Tax wise, it’s an interesting one. 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…”
Irons added: “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. I don’t think sex matters at all. What it’s called doesn’t matter at all.”
Fellow UK actor, Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) – who is openly gay – tweeted in response: “I hate when people say they don’t have strong feelings about something then proceed to spew offensive and ignorant ones #jeremyirons.”
A spokesman for LGBT rights groups Stonewall told the Huffington Post UK: “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.”
Watch Irons’ interview below.