During an interview with HuffPost Live, Jeremy Irons talked about gay marriage, expressing his concern that its legalization might lead to fathers marrying their sons to avoid estate taxes. After a furor of controversy, he’s written an open letter on his website to explain himself:
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 appreciate Irons explaining himself, and I do believe his letter is sincere, but his daddy/son theory has tainted my favourite porn genre! His view is more fear-mongering than “mischievous,” and I don’t think it’s a “valid” point in the discussion of same-sex marriage. I think it’s a ridiculous point. Incestuous marriage would still be illegal between two men, regardless of the fact that they can’t reproduce. Gay marriage has nothing to do with incestuous marriage. Just like it has nothing to do with straight marriage. Or polygamy. Or Jesus. Or the devil. Or any of the other fatuous reasons people have come up with in order to continue to deprive two loving human beings their basic rights.
So thanks for the apology, Irons, but next time, save us your bullshit.
We’ve heard it all before.