Jay-Z Reveals His Support For Marriage Equality

"It’s discrimination plain and simple.”

Last week President Barack Obama became the first US president ever to publicly endorse marriage equality in this country. Today, we learn that his support of same-sex marriage is already inspiring others to come out, as it were, in support of marriage equality as well. Rapper/entrepreneur Jay-Z (née Sean Corey Carter) sat down to chat with CNN this week and not only voiced his support of President Obama but also voiced his support for marriage equality. This is important, I think, because prior to Obama‘s endorsement, Jay-Z was not known to be a supporter of same-sex marriage. Click below to watch video of his interview in full.

Jay-Z has come out in support of President Obama’s recent endorsement of gay marriage. In a recent interview with CNN, the rapper said he believed supporting gay marriage was “the right thing to do.” “I’ve always thought it as something that was still holding the country back,” Jay-Z said, referencing the fact that same-sex marriage is not recognized nationwide. “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.” Though he was in Philadelphia to appear alongside Mayor Michael Nutter and announce a two-day music festival in early September, Jay-Z sat down with CNN’s Poppy Harlow to chat about broader issues. When he was asked if he felt Obama’s decision to come out in favor of the right of same-sex couples to marry would cost him votes (particularly with the African-American community), he shrugged. “It’s really not about votes,” he said. “It’s about people.”

Now, to be clear, I don’t find this endorsement of same-sex marriage by Jay-Z significant merely because he is a celebrity. To me, what is important to note is that Obama’s leadership on this issue is already inspiring others to be vocal about their support as well. AND, because Jay-Z is a man who is looked up to by many young people, his support of marriage equality is very likely to inspire others to be supportive as well. IMHO, only good things will come from Obama’s same-sex marriage endorsement … and I see this revelation by Jay-Z as one of the positives to come from Obama’s action. The end of marriage discrimination is near … I can FEEL IT … and it’s a great feeling.

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  1. kel

    Trent, just curious, so please don’t be offended by my question, but I am wondering where you and David are considering getting married, or if you are going to wait to see if things change… Between the two of you, you have lived in states that recognize or do not recognize same-sex marriage. It sucks that you have to even consider that in your planning, whereas when I got married, I didn’t have to worry about my marriage being legal or not depending on the location (just average family issues, $ issues, etc).

    • @kel — We haven’t discussed it yet, we’re enjoying our engagement. But you are correct, all same-sex couples have to consider where to get married in this country because it is not legal in every state. That will change, I’m sure of it.

    • kel

      that is my hope and prayer too Trent…enjoy your happy engagement!

  2. jennie

    to be honest, i find it a little lame that he just came out about his support on same-sex marriage right after president obama made his views public. same-sex marriage has unfortunately been such a topic for so long, and he just happens to decide to say it right after obama? it seems more like he’s supporting obama and his re-election, or that he was waiting for someone else to say it was okay, so it takes away from the meaning.
    i’m glad he did come out to voice his support, but he is a little late in the game. (but i suppose better late than never?)
    either way, i hope same-sex marriage will be legalized soon. i think the fact that it hasn’t been is simply ridiculous.

    • @jennie — I have to say, I disagree. We don’t know why he chose to voice his support now. In the Hip Hop community, homosexuality is still largely taboo. Maybe the endorsement of the President of the United States gave him the fortitude to finally say something publicly? In any event, whether Jay-Z has been a secret supporter for years or he changed his mind the second Obama made his endorsement, I don’t think it’s “lame” at all nor does it “take away from the meaning” to have anyone lend their voice to the cause of marriage equality, no matter the circumstance or reason.

    • karen

      Agree with Trent on this. From what I’ve read, blacks tend to oppose same-sex marriage more than other races (or at least more than whites). For that reason, I think having black hip hop stars and other black celebrities speak out in favor of it is very important. They can help normalize support for it among blacks. It would be great if some black athlete-celebs spoke out in favor of it.

      In terms of Jay-Z’s self-interest, regardless of his personal views and how long he’s held them, it’s also true that young people tend to be in favor of same-sex marriage. If he had spoken out against same-sex marriage, he could have alienated a large portion of his fans.

    • Tracy

      Hi Jennie,

      I saw this interview and the reason JayZ even commented on the issues is because he was asked for his thoughts. I have to agree with Trent I think this will get young people as well as JayZ’s fans to be more open with their views. I see only positive things coming from this they can only go up, our gays have already been down for far too long. Like JayZ said it is not about the votes it is about people. AS A PEOPLE IF WE STAND TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG.

  3. Rolltideguy77

    I’m guessing he probably wouldn’t want to alienate a vast majority of his wife’s fanbase lol

  4. Claire

    For gay marriage to still be an issue baffles me, I can’t believe people still carry these archaic beliefs. Living in Canada I don’t think I experience homophobia the way you do in the U.S. but just reading about it makes me head spin. Much kudos to Obama for taking a long overdue step forward.

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