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Jeremy Irons Reacts to Outrage: I'm Not 'Anti-Gay' But I'm Still Concerned About Father-Son Marriage

Jeremy Irons has posted a letter in response to public outrage over his recent chat with the HuffPost in which he said he was worried that giving gays marriage might "debase" the institution and expressed concerns that a father might marry his son".

IronWrites Irons in a letter posted to

I am deeply concerned that from my on line discussion with the Huffington Post, it has been understood that I hold a position that is anti gay. This is as far from the truth of me as to say that I believe the earth is flat.

I was taking part in a short discussion around the practical meaning of Marriage, and how that institution might be altered by it becoming available to same-sex partners. Perhaps rather too flippantly I flew the kite of an example of the legal quagmire that might occur if same sex marriage entered the statute books, by raising the possibility of future marriage between same sex family members for tax reasons, (incest being illegal primarily in order to prevent inbreeding, and therefore an irrelevance in non reproductive relationships). Clearly this was a mischievous argument, but nonetheless valid.

I am clearly aware that many gay relationships are more long term, responsible and even healthier in their role of raising children, than their hetero equivalents, and that love often creates the desire to mark itself in a formal way, as Marriage would do. Clearly society should find a way of doing this.

I had hoped that even on such a subject as this, where passions run high, the internet was a forum where ideas could be freely discussed without descending into name-calling. I believe that is what it could be, but it depends on all of us behaving, even behind our aliases, in a humane, intelligent and open way.

I've reposted the HuffPost Live interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. A bigot is a bigot is a bigot is a bigot.

    Posted by: Shawn | Apr 6, 2013 11:45:53 AM

  2. His response is just more evidence that he's either woefully uninformed or just an idiot. It takes five minutes on the internet to discover that incestual marriage in all its forms, regardless of reproductive capabilities, is illegal.

    Ergo, his "logic" is stupid, at which point the only reasonable is "OK, I admit it, that was a really stupid thing to say."

    At the same time, I have to ask why every actor, singer, musician, athlete, etc. is even ASKED for their opinions about gay marriage. It's one thing if they, of their own volition, want to make a public statement but just asking them is just an invitation for off-the-cuff dipshittery. Granted his opinions are kind of ironic given that he's played both gay (or at least very homoerotic) roles AND twins in a very twisted incestuous relationship (in Dead Ringers).

    Posted by: Caliban | Apr 6, 2013 11:46:04 AM

  3. Actually, if Jon Hamm wanted to call himself my step father, okay, I can see marrying him...other than that, absolutely not. I hope that reassures Jeremy.

    Posted by: Bryan | Apr 6, 2013 11:46:13 AM

  4. I'm sorry but for as much as our community loves to attack the NOM types (which we should) for their ignorance, this Jeremy Irons mess is about as offensive if not MORE offensive than anything NOM leaders have said, and I hope we hold him accountable.

    Posted by: IsisIsioh | Apr 6, 2013 11:47:30 AM

  5. He's entitled to his opinion, but he's not entitled to not face criticism, challenge and response to his ignorant opinion.

    Posted by: TX Dude | Apr 6, 2013 11:48:10 AM

  6. This man has a gay man who helped uplift his career. This is a slap in the face to that man, and Iron knows it.

    Posted by: In the Know | Apr 6, 2013 11:48:54 AM

  7. His comments weren't important before, even less so now. The washed up should shut up.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 6, 2013 11:50:36 AM

  8. Some needs to introduce him to Michelle Shocked. They would get along really well.

    Posted by: Nick Name | Apr 6, 2013 11:55:17 AM

  9. Apparently "mischievous" is the new euphemism for "idiotic." Enough wind out of your bag, Jeremy!

    Still, I'm glad Irons came out as a pretentiously creepy moron because otherwise we never would have been treated to the brilliant brilliant Colbert parody.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 6, 2013 11:56:17 AM

  10. Ok...I'm going to say this and want as many responses as I can get:

    Why do heterosexuals feel that they can discuss our rights, our existence, our way of being, how we become who we are, why we are who we are, and if we deserve to have rights being who we are.........yet the moment we respond with some passion, they pretend we're talking about a subject distant from humans (like as if we're sharing opinions on modern art vs. classic art)......

    the opinion you feel so entitled to share about who I am, and you defining how I became gay, and how may rights I deserve as a gay person aren't some flippant opinions about inanimate's about a fellow human (me) rights.

    How do you get straight people to realize this? They TRULY can't (from my experience with many)

    Straight people sincerely believe telling gay people that they chose to be gay, being gay can be destructive, and gay people should have a limited amount of rights; is just a simple sharing of opinions. And expect (scratch that: demand!) we as gays just listen to their tirade about us, then go for some jumbo juice right after.

    Are most heteros this privileged where they can't even recognize their own entitlement? I used to always argue no, but lately, observing this in many heterosexuals I interact with; and I truly believe many of them are completely oblivious who how often pompous, ignorant, clueless, entitled, and privilege they sound when discussing who WE are.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Apr 6, 2013 11:58:59 AM

  11. Mr Irons, the best thing I can say about your attempt at damage control is "Lame."

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Apr 6, 2013 12:14:47 PM

  12. @ Duration & Covexity

    I too have noticed the hetero talking point of "whats the matter? I don't think you deserve to be treated as my equal, but it's just an opinion right? let's go out for drinks and please don't challenge me on my right to vote against your rights. I want to be a bigot and not be called one"

    I refuse to befriend people like this, much less spend a moment with them. I actually feel befriending said people encourages their bigotry and you become that "but I have gay friends" person they'll use as an scapegoat to feel better about arguing against our rights.

    Posted by: LEE | Apr 6, 2013 12:21:33 PM

  13. Sorry Jeremy- My partner and I have been together for 22 years. I have NO DESIRE to marry a dog,my father or enter into a polygamous marriage.
    I am so sick of hearing these arguments. They make absolutely no sense. In countries that have accepted marriage equality years ago none of this has occurred. Next time think before you open your trap!

    Posted by: Jim Stone | Apr 6, 2013 12:27:43 PM

  14. It's sad that he never figured out what made his original comment so insanely stupid to begin that he actually went back to the same stupid reasoning in his apology. Wasn't he in one of the Lolita's?

    Posted by: Craig | Apr 6, 2013 12:29:53 PM

  15. But nonetheless valid, eh? But it was valid to compare same-sex relationships to incestuous ones.

    But no, you're not anti-gay, Jeremy. Not at all. Good for you. Fool.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 6, 2013 12:39:03 PM

  16. I'm sure Mr. Irons is in fact 'progressive'. He's now experiencing what happens when you stray off the 'progressive' plantation, away from the approved script.


    "I had hoped...the internet was a forum where ideas could be freely discussed without descending into name-calling."

    Be nice. The man is afflicted with nincompoopery.


    Actually, it would be nice if ideas could be freely discussed without descending into name calling by shills, true believers, and trolls. Not going to happen, Mr. Irons. You should have known better than to think you really could express diversity in thought, or just play Devil's Advocate.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Apr 6, 2013 12:40:15 PM

  17. Think about this before going off the deep end. How many hetero fathers or uncles or brothers molest their daughters or sons or sisters or brothers or nieces or nephews? On a bad day, I suppose one could suggest that if the child is adopted, and there is no chance of inbreeding, sex with that chosen offspring might not be quite reprehensible. There is the chance of child abuse in any household. Jerry Lee Lewis married a young cousin.

    All to suggest that Mr. Irons might have been speaking ironically, perhaps snarking, but, at last, simply lifting up the possibility that such abuse might happen in any family configuration.

    Posted by: Kathi | Apr 6, 2013 12:42:18 PM

  18. Iron's if RATBASTARD is on your're argument is deranged, effed, irrational, narrow minded, ignorant, bigoted, and anti gay. Seriously, if ratbastard supports a story or individual, 12 out of 10 times, I can count on said individual having said something offensive toward gay people.

    Posted by: Alejandro | Apr 6, 2013 12:44:24 PM

  19. Incest, be it gay or straight, involves coercion. That is why it is a CRIME.

    Posted by: Jose Soto | Apr 6, 2013 12:50:20 PM

  20. For as much talk as there is about progress, anyone else feel there's more outlandish anti gay (and very vocal at that) talk today than years ago? I've been out for the past 15 years, and while I'm sure homophobia in anytime before the mid 90s was a nightmare, I swear people weren't this consistently ati gay. I mean maybe they were, but I assure you, it feels like far more people are expressing anti gay sentiments today than 2003.

    Posted by: Joel | Apr 6, 2013 1:30:18 PM

  21. There are plenty of non-breeding heterosexual siblings who are not able to marry one another. Has it been a problem that Fathers with daughters passed menopause have been marrying one another for tax purposes? MY GOD JEREMY. Think my man... THINK!!! You're being incredulous.

    Posted by: rocco11 | Apr 6, 2013 1:31:45 PM

  22. Because, Duration & Convexity, of what Christopher Isherwood identified back in the day as The Heterosexual Dictatorship.

    We have been forced to live under this for quite some time. I'm 66 years-old and well remember how well-nigh impossible it was t even TALK about Teh Ghey seriously. When I joined The Gay Activists Alliance our gibbest goas were getting rid of laws that made us criminals for even congregating in public, fighting for basic civil rights (ie. jobs and housing prohibitions) and (most important of all) getting others to come out.

    It was like pulling teeth back then. Being out was very avant-garde. The Sonewall ids were social outcast with nothing to lose. Middle-Class gays and lesbians hid in their closets and were as fearful of us as they were of the cops. Upper-class gays and lesbians simply went to euope like James Merrill (read his memoir "A Diferent Person") Amidst all ofthis there were a few truly brave souls. Poet Frank O'Hara out, proud and carefree. He'd managed to carve out a career for himself in the art world, never dreaming of the "Mainstream." Artis David Hockney was also as out as the day is long -- well before Stonewall. They were my heories and "role models."

    In recent years thi gs have changed rapidly. Kids today increasingly come out when they come of age -- without ever knowing the coset. Back in the day the ealy gay orgs kept careful track of everything in the press that might possibly related to LGBTlife. Now it's everywhere. A day doens't go by without a tsunami of stores. And we've got out journalists like Rachel Maddow, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper,Thomas Roberts et. al.

    We hav, in short, "arrived," and as a result there's been desperate pushack from creeps like Ben Cooper and the revelation that a presumed sophisticate like Jeremy Irons is an Off-the-Wall-Nutter.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 6, 2013 1:48:42 PM

  23. GREAT read David Ehrenstein!

    Our community is so great having someone like yourself in it.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Apr 6, 2013 1:58:02 PM

  24. if Mr. Irons it trying to have a dialouge he should make sure it is logical, rational and common sense; not something so far fetched, it is almost matches the inane right wingers who come up with comparison to folks marrying animals, buildings, etc

    Posted by: Bernie | Apr 6, 2013 2:23:47 PM

  25. Go ACT somewhere !

    Posted by: Jeffrey Fulvimari | Apr 6, 2013 2:34:36 PM

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