In a video message to a marriage equality conference in Wellington, where parliament is considering whether to legalise same-sex marriage, McKellen said he supported the “exciting prospect”.
“I hope that by the time I get back to Middle Earth I might even be able to get married,” he said in the message reported Saturday on the GayNZ.com website.
McKellen, who has spent considerable time in New Zealand playing the role of Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” films, referred to the country as his “spiritual home” in the video recorded in London.
He said that as New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote, the world has looked to it for “social advancement”.
On his website, McKellen describes his most urgent concern as “legal and social equality for gay people worldwide”.
He did not attend this week’s world premiere of “The Hobbit” in Wellington as he is touring schools in England “attacking homophobia in the playground”, GayNZ said.