star Sir Ian McKellen has spoken out with the hope that he will one day have the chance to return to "Middle-earth" and get married.

The gay-rights advocate last night addressed a marriage equality conference in Wellington via a video recorded in London, GayNZ.com reported.

In the brief clip he said that ever since New Zealand women were given the vote before any other country in the world, New Zealand was looked at for social advance.


"And here we are again."

Parliament is currently considering a bill which will allow same-sex marriage.

The bill, sponsored by Labour MP Louisa Wall, passed its first vote and is currently before select committee.

Sir Ian said his support was with New Zealand and the change.

"I hope that by the time I get back to Middle-earth I might even be able to get married."

Sir Ian was absent at this week's Hobbit premiere in Wellington, but again addressed the crowds via a video.

In it he called New Zealand his "spiritual home".