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Gay marriage support 'astonishing'

Published 07/06/2015

Sir Ian McKellen did not tell his father he was gay
Sir Ian McKellen did not tell his father he was gay

It is "astonishing" for a Conservative Prime Minister to "insist on gay marriage", Sir Ian McKellen has said.

The 75-year-old actor referred to the "distant days of section 28" which banned the promotion of homosexuality in schools and said if his father had lived longer he would have told him about his sexuality.

In an interview with The Sunday Times Culture magazine, the gay star remarked about how times have moved on, saying: "It's astonishing for a Tory Prime Minister to insist on gay marriage, dragging the party behind him.

"I suppose it's possible because we live in a small country and you only have to persuade about 50 people, all of whom live within sight of this window, and if they agree, they can have it in law within a year.

"Americans have to slog through every state."

The multi-award winning actor also said it "wasn't fair" of him not to tell his father about his sexuality.

He told the magazine: "It wasn't fair of me. You're 24, you're living with another man, you know that about yourself, your father loves you, is always asking how you are in every possible way, and I think, if he'd lived a bit longer, I would have told him.

"We couldn't really have a proper relationship until I had.

"I didn't give him a chance to say 'That's all right', then get interested in my life from that point of view."

Sir Ian said that being the man his father was he would have started to get concerned and angry about gay rights before him.

"He was a good man from that point of view," he said.

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