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Mc Kellen agreed, but wrote "Fuck off, I'm gay." The amendment in question, Section 28 of the Local Government Bill, proposed to prohibit local authorities from promoting homosexuality 'as a kind of pretended family relationship'.The drafting was open to several interpretations and the actual impact of the amendment was uncertain.Mc Kellen has stated that he was also influenced in his decision by the advice and support of his friends, among them noted gay author Armistead Maupin.In 2003, during an appearance on Have I Got News For You, Mc Kellen claimed that when he visited Michael Howard, the Conservative Environment Secretary, in 1988 to lobby against Section 28, Howard refused to change his position but did ask him to leave an autograph for his children.Mc Kellen has continued up to the present to be very active in gay rights efforts.He was made knighted in 1991 for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre.
Sir Ian Murray Mc Kellen, (born ) is an English stage and screen actor, the recipient of a Tony Award and two Oscar nominations.His work has spanned genres from William Shakespeare and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction.Mc Kellen became active in fighting the proposed law, and declared himself gay on a BBC Radio programme where he debated the subject of Section 28 with the conservative journalist Peregrine Worsthorne.He has said of this period: "My own participating in that campaign was a focus for people [to] take comfort that if Ian Mc Kellen was on board for this, perhaps it would be all right for other people to be as well, gay and straight".The context that prompted Mc Kellen's decision — overriding concerns about a possible negative effect on his career — was that the controversial amendment known popularly as "Section 28" (see below) was under consideration in the United Kingdom Parliament of the United Kingdom.
By this time, Mc Kellen's ten-year relationship with Sean Mathias had ended, removing the additional concern of what effect his coming out would have on his partner's career.