Mel Gibson has hit out at Arnold Schwarzenegger's backing of a new plan to have California taxpayers fund embryonic stem cell research.

The devout Catholic, whose movie The Passion Of The Christ attracted both hordes of cash and a barrage of controversy, is strongly against the proposition, and he took his cause to TV show Good Morning America today (28OCT04).

He says, "I'm very concerned with the stem cell question. I'm for stem cell research. I think it can do a lot of good. When I heard about a Proposition 71 to promote stem cell research I was overjoyed because it can do so much good.

"But then I began to look further into the proposition and I found that the cloning of human embryos will be used in the process and I have an ethical problem with that.

"Why do I, as a taxpayer, have to fund something I believe is unethical?

"Adult Stem cell research, I'm all for it. I'll give my own stem cells to somebody if they want. But I can't condone this. (My religion) ties into it, of course.

"I called Governor Schwarzenegger last night to talk about this very issue and I think he's doing a great job in California... he's doing so many cool things. (But) it seems he wants to rush this issue. I wanted to ask him a few questions about it, particularly the cloning of human embryo aspect of it.

"I called him, when we got to that point, he said, 'Well, I'm very busy now. I'll call you back. I've gotta make a speech. I'll call you right back.'

"Well, Arnold, I'm still waiting for your call."

Brad Pitt, Michael J Fox and late actor Christopher Reeve are among the Hollywood stars who have backed the proposition.

28/10/2004 22:10