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WATCH: Actor Jeremy Irons Is Worried Gays Will 'Debase' Marriage

By Lucas Grindley

Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons doesn't "have a strong feeling either way" on marriage equality but he worries that letting gays and lesbians marry will "debase" marriage.

"It seems to me that now they are fighting for the name, and I worry that it means somehow we debase or we change what marriage is," he said during an interview on Huffington Post Live. "I just worry about that."

But aside from his worries about the name "marriage," as opposed to civil unions, Irons worried specifically about whether people will abuse same-sex marriage to skirt tax law. "If I wanted to pass on my estate without death duties, I could marry my son and pass on my estate to him," Irons suggested, though the host was quick to point out that would violate laws against incest.

His comments were a mixed bag, though, with Irons seeming to wish gay people well in their relationships. "I just wish everybody who is living with one other person the best of luck in the world because it's fantastic," he said.

Irons' comments have generated headlines back in his homeland of England, where they are considering a marriage equality law, and the head of the Stonewall rights group called Irons' comments "bizarre."

"Few people will agree with Jeremy Irons’ bizarre 'concerns' about equal marriage," a Stonewall spokesman told Huffington Post UK. "Sadly his comments do seem to indicate he's taken his role as a Pope in The Borgias a little too seriously."

Watch the interview below.

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