Some people take the soaps and shampoos from hotel rooms. Others steal the towels and bathrobes. A few may even take the hair dryers. Actor Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, takes something else from hotel rooms: pages from the Bible.
When openly gay actor Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, among other memorable roles) stays in a hotel with a Bible in the nightstand drawer, he rips out pages that contain a certain passage from Leviticus, according to a new& interview with the actor by Details magazine.
(The passage says: "Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable," as translated by the New International Version; the King James Version uses the word "abominable.")
McKellen, about to turn 70, came out late in life at age 49, according to the magazine.
Here's part of the interview:
Details: Is it true that when you stay at hotels you tear out the Bible page that condemns homosexuality?
Ian McKellen: I do, absolutely. I'm not proudly defacing the book, but it's a choice between removing that page and throwing away the whole Bible. And I'm not really the first: I got delivered a package of 40 of those pages -- Leviticus 18:22 -- that had been torn out by a married couple I know. They put them on a bit of string so that I could hang it up in the bathroom.
Somehow I should be troubled by this, but I’m not. I doubt people even read the Gideon Bibles in hotel rooms. So I doubt people would notice.
Even so, McKellen doesn't have the right to deface private property. Who knows what legal trouble he may face because of this.