British actor Rupert Everett was a trailblazer when he came out as gay 20 years ago, at a time when there were very few openly gay film stars.
But he ignited concern at the weekend as a new interview with the UK’s Sunday Times surfaced – in which the My Best Friend’s Wedding actor seemed unconvinced by the notion of gay couples with kids.
The 53-year-old says his mother Sara has met his boyfriend but revealed she “still wishes I had a wife and kids.”
“She thinks children need a father and a mother and I agree with her,” he added. “I can’t think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads.
“Some people might not agree with that. Fine! That’s just my opinion.”
He says he wasn’t speaking on behalf of the gay community – “In fact, I don’t feel like I’m part of any ‘community.’
“The only community I belong to is humanity and we’ve got too many children on the planet, so it’s good not to have more.”
Gay equality groups were quick to remind Everett that there are plenty of happy same-sex couples raising kids out there.
Ben Summerskill of British LGBT campaigners Stonewall said “Rupert should get out a little bit more to see the facts for himself.
“There is absolutely no evidence that the kids of gay parents suffer in the way they are being brought up or in how they develop.”
And over in the USA, LGBT media watchdogs GLAAD were also critical. “Since Everett shared his outdated opinion, gay parents, as well as their friends and families, have voiced overwhelming disappointment,” said GLAAD’s president Herndon Graddick.
“Children aren’t hurt when raised by caring gay parents, but they are when uniformed people in the public eye insult their families.”