Following an outcry over remarks he made on gay marriage, actor Jeremy Irons says he was just being playful.

During a Huffington Post Live interview, Irons, 64, said that he worried that such unions would “debase” marriage.

“It seems to me that [in England] they're fighting for the name and I worry that it means somehow we debase or we change what marriage is,” Irons said during a Huffington Post Live interview. “I just worry about that. I mean tax wise is an interesting one. Because … you see, could a father not marry his son?”

“Now if that was so, then if I wanted to pass on my estate without death duties, I could marry my son and pass on my estate to him.”

In a letter posted Friday on his website, Irons dismissed the notion that he's anti-gay.

“I am deeply concerned that from my on line discussion with the Huffington Post, it has been understood that I hold a position that is anti gay. This is as far from the truth of me as to say that I believe the earth is flat,” Irons wrote.

“I was taking part in a short discussion around the practical meaning of Marriage, and how that institution might be altered by it becoming available to same-sex partners. Perhaps rather too flippantly I flew the kite of an example of the legal quagmire that might occur if same sex marriage entered the statute books, by raising the possibility of future marriage between same sex family members for tax reasons, (incest being illegal primarily in order to prevent inbreeding, and therefore an irrelevance in non reproductive relationships). Clearly this was a mischievous argument, but nonetheless valid.”

“I am clearly aware that many gay relationships are more long term, responsible and even healthier in their role of raising children, than their hetero equivalents, and that love often creates the desire to mark itself in a formal way, as Marriage would do. Clearly society should find a way of doing this.”

“I had hoped that even on such a subject as this, where passions run high, the Internet was a forum where ideas could be freely discussed without descending into name-calling.”

“I believe that is what it could be, but it depends on all of us behaving, even behind our aliases, in a humane, intelligent and open way.”