Squeaky-clean country queen Carrie Underwood has spoken out in support of marriage equality — a move that may cause controversy amongst her Christian fanbase.
The Independent reports:
In a development that will doubtless outrage her many fans on the religious right, the nation’s most popular country singer, Carrie Underwood, has come out vehemently in favour of gay marriage.
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love…”
Underwood… draws much of her fanbase from evangelical Christians, speaks frequently about her faith and has made religion the subject of several of her best-known songs, including the No 1 country hit “Jesus Take the Wheel”.
She said, however, that her liberal attitude towards same-sex marriage comes because of her Christian values, rather than in spite of them. Though raised a Baptist, a church that tends to oppose homosexuality, Underwood and her husband Mike Fisher, a professional ice-hockey player, now worship in a non-denominational congregation.
“Our church is gay friendly,” she said. “Above all, God wanted us to love others. It’s not about setting rules, or [saying] ‘everyone has to be like me’. No. We’re all different. That’s what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody…”
Even if Underwood alienates part of her base, her statement has won her new support in the queer community — especially amongst religious activists, who see her as representing the sensibility of younger, more tolerant Christians. If you look at younger evangelicals, they are hugely out of step with their parents on this issue,” said a spokesman for the gay rights group Equality California to the Independent. “They remain committed to their faith, but don’t see gay rights being in conflict with Christian values. So while her comments are great news, they aren’t necessarily a huge surprise.”