Sir Ian McKellen: Northern Ireland needs to catch up on same-sex marriage

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Actor and gay rights campaigner Sir Ian McKellen has called for Northern Ireland to “catch up” on same-sex marriage.

Despite same-sex weddings becoming legal in England, Scotland and Wales last year, they remain banned in Northern Ireland – where the devolved DUP government continues to block equality legislation.

The country is becoming increasingly isolated on the issue, following the Republic of Ireland’s landslide vote in favour of same-sex marriage last month.

Sir Ian McKellen, who co-founded rights group Stonewall, told BBC Breakfast of the vote: “Whenever the vote came through, that wasn’t the big turning point.

“The turning point had been already happening and this was confirmation that Ireland had changed, and that leads onto the future very well indeed.

“I hope, as a result, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, will catch up with the rest of us now and bring in same-gender marriage because it’s rather unseemly that that little corner of our country, doesn’t have quite as liberal laws as the rest.”

Sir Ian McKellen is currently promoting his latest film, Mr Holmes, in which he plays an ageing Sherlock Holmes.

The star recently caused a stir at the Mr Holmes premiere by locking lips with his X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart, who plays Magneto’s rival Professor X.

He also admitted he doesn’t think he will reprise his X-Men role again.

Watch the clip below: