I certainly think last week’s announcement by President Obama is a sea change. Yes, it was a symbolic gesture, but I think it’s important and allows many more public figures to speak out in support of marriage equality. The latest public figure to do so is the hip hop mogul Jay-Z. When asked about President Obama’s support of marriage equality, Jay-Z told CNN:
I’ve always thought of it as something that is still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.
And when asked whether supporting marriage equality may cost President Obama the election, Jay said:
I think it’s the right thing to do so whether it costs him votes or not. You know, again, it’s really not about votes, it’s about people. So whether or not it costs him votes, it’s the right thing to do as a human being.
The significance of a rapper supporting marriage equality and condemning homophobia cannot be overstated. Hip hop has a long and troubling past of misogyny and homophobia. Jay-Z speaking out in this way is no small thing. Sea change, folks.
Check out video of the interview here.