The University of Ulster gave legendary actor Ian McKellen an honorary doctorate Sunday.
McKellen’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” co-star James Nesbitt, who serves as the university’s chancellor, was at the ceremony to award him with the honor.
Ian McKellen then delivered the school’s annual chancellor’s lecture and focused his speech on equality for gays. The 73-year-old openly gay actor said: “Thanks to every gay person in public and nonpublic life who has come out. Thanks to those politicians not in thrall to those constituents who cling to the status quo and who, given referenda, would happily reinstate capital punishment and the beating of children.”
McKellen continued, “Thanks most perhaps to the cherished national belief that an Englishman—and an Irishman’s—home is his castle and that the state has no business interfering in their bedrooms. Every rotten antigay law has been repealed, shaken down from the constitutional tree. So complete is the reversal, that we even have the anomaly of civil partnerships which are not available to heterosexuals and uniquely benefit the gays!”
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