Jeremy Irons has sparked outrage with a bizarre claim about same-sex marriage.

The Oscar-winning actor suggested a legal union between two men could lead to incest and allow fathers to pass on their estates to their sons without being taxed, claiming it could ''debase'' marital law.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, he said he didn't ''have a strong feeling either way'' on the subject, before musing: ''Could a father not marry his son?''

Reminded about incest laws, Jeremy, 64, pondered: ''It's not incest between men. Incest is there to protect us from inbreeding, but men don't breed''.

Discussing the difference between civil partnership and marriage, he added: ''It seems to me that now they're fighting for the name. I worry that it means somehow we debase, or we change, what marriage is. I just worry about that.''

The 'Lolita' actor's remarks didn't sit well with lesbian, gay and bisexual charity Stonewall, who took the opportunity to make a joke about his role as uptight Pope Alexander VI in popular televion series 'The Borgias'.

A spokesperson commented: ''Few people will agree with Jeremy Irons' bizarre 'concerns' about equal marriage. Sadly his comments do seem to indicate he's taken his role as a Pope in 'The Borgias' a little too seriously.''

However, Jeremy did concede: ''Living with another animal, whether it be a husband or a dog, is great.

''It's lovely to have someone to love. I don't think sex matters at all. What it's called doesn't matter at all.''