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British actor Rupert Everett has come under fire after declaring he "can't think of anything worse" than a gay couple raising a child.

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The openly gay star has been criticized by equality campaigners after insisting that "children need a father and a mother."

In an interview with Britain's Sunday Times Magazine, Everett revealed how his mother, Sara McLean Everett, had met his boyfriend but "still wishes I had a wife and kids."

He added, "She thinks children need a father and a mother and I agree with her. I can't think of anything worse than being brought up by two gay dads. Some people might not agree with that. Fine! That's just my opinion. I'm not speaking on behalf of the gay community. In fact, I don't feel like I'm part of any 'community.' The only community I belong to is humanity and we've got too many children on the planet, so it's good not to have more."

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Gay rights advocates have taken exception to Everett's comments. Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights group Stonewall, says, "Rupert should get out a little bit more to see the facts for himself. There is absolutely no evidence that the kids of gay parents suffer in the way they are being brought up or in how they develop."

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Everett's mother also told the publication she wished her son would start a family. "I'd like him to have children," she said. "He's so good with children. He'd make a wonderful father. But I also think a child needs a mummy and a daddy. I've told him that and he takes it very well. He doesn't get angry with me. He just smiles."