Openly gay fashion designer Tom Ford has hit out at the bans on gay marriage and civil partnerships in many parts of the world.

Speaking at a Venice press conference for the premiere of his first film, A Single Man, which stars Colin Firth, he told of his worries should anything happen to he or his partner.

According to Reuters, Ford said: “I have someone I’ve lived together with for 23 years. Recently he was in hospital for something. I had to carry papers on me at all times that he had signed saying that I could visit him in his room and make medical decisions for him if anything happened.

“Our taxes, by the way: if I died tomorrow my estate would be completely taxed and then the remainder go to him whereas if we were a couple his life wouldn’t have to change and my entire estate would move to him. There are things that are wrong with our legal systems in a lot of countries.”

He added: “It is, I have to say, quite disgusting that in America and in other countries you cannot have a civil union or something equivalent to marriage.”