ROME (Reuters) - Actress Julianne Moore spoke out in favor of same-sex parents as she presented "The Kids Are All Right," a film where she and Annette Bening play a long-term lesbian couple raising their teenaged children.
The movie was screened at the Rome film festival, where Moore will receive a life-time acting award later on Tuesday.
Moore told reporters that studies had shown children of same-sex couples were "healthy and happy and everything you'd want them to be."
"What children need is two loving parents. It doesn't matter if they are two mums, or two dads, or a mum and a dad," she said.
"Parenting is about the time you put in and the investment you make in ushering this little child and turning it into an adult," the mother of two said. "Whether you are a woman or a man, that is what your job is."
The film by director Lisa Cholodenko, which premiered in Berlin earlier this year, portrays the lesbian pair as an ordinary, modern couple trying to be good parents.
Their life is turned upside down when their children contact their biological father and Jules, played by Moore, begins to fall for him.
Moore, an active supporter of gay marriage, said the film was more a reflection on what it means to be a family and showed that simply being the biological father does not make someone a better parent.
Asked to comment on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's remark on Tuesday that it was "better to like beautiful girls than to be gay," Moore said: "I think it's unfortunate, archaic and idiotic."
"To hint or to say that there is something wrong with homosexuality ... it's unfortunate and it's embarrassing when people continue to perpetrate these untruths," she said.
Moore, 49, made her debut as a feature film actress relatively late for Hollywood standards, when she was in her early 30s, and went on to gradually win more powerful roles particularly in independent cinema.
She has garnered four Oscar nominations for her performance in "Boogie Nights" (1997), "The End of the Affair" (1999), "The Hours" (2002) and "Far From Heaven" (2002).
She said people in youth-obsessed Hollywood kept asking her when her career would be over, given it had started late.
"Well, I don't know about that. The age question comes up again and again. But I think that by continuing to hammer on the age issue in the media we make it look worse than it is," she said.
Editing by Paul Casciato