Antonio Banderas: Homophobes Are Mentally Ill

By Jase Peeples

Originally published on Advocate.com May 13 2014 1:22 PM ET

Antonio Banderas spoke fondly about his early days as an actor in out director Pedro Almodóvar’s films and had some harsh words for homophobes who claim gay people are mentally ill in a recent interview with Peru’s Canal N TV

“Those who judge gay couples in an intolerant way, they seem to me to be much more sick. Gay people, on the other hand, absolutely do not appear to me to be sick,” Banderas said, according to a translation posted by The New Civil Rights Movement.

Banderas played gay characters in Almodóvar’s Labyrinth of Passion and Law of Desire. While speaking with Canal N TV, the actor commented on the reaction audiences had to consensual gay sex in the latter film versus other scenes in which his character murders the boyfriend of his lover. “The murder was fine, it’s something accepted from an artistic point of view,” Banderas remarked. “But two people of the same sex kissing on-screen generated a wave of controversy at the time.”

Banderas also spoke about his hope for the Catholic Church to soften its stance on marriage equality and said he believes that Pope Francis is helping make that a reality. “I think right now the church is inching closer to reality every day,” he said. “And I think a Latin American pope is making giant steps.”