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Ian McKellen

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Just call him Dr. Gandalf from now on.

Ian McKellen was given an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster Sunday, and delivered the school's annual chancellor's lecture, focusing his speech on equality for gays. 

"Thanks to every gay person in public and nonpublic life who has come out," the 73-year-old openly gay Hobbit star said. "Thanks to those politicians not in thrall to those constituents who cling to the status quo and who, given referenda, would happily reinstate capital punishment and the beating of children.

"Thanks most perhaps to the cherished national belief that an Englishman—and an Irishman's—home is his castle and that the state has no business interfering in their bedrooms," McKellen continued. "Every rotten antigay law has been repealed, shaken down from the constitutional tree. So complete is the reversal, that we even have the anomaly of civil partnerships which are not available to heterosexuals and uniquely benefit the gays!" 

McKellen's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey costar James Nesbitt, who serves as the university's chancellor, awarded him with the honor during the ceremony.