John M. Becker

Tonight: Gay Couples Marrying Onstage at Grammy Awards

Filed By John M. Becker | January 26, 2014 12:15 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, Grammy Awards, Grammys, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Madonna, marriage equality, mass wedding, Queen Latifah, Same Love, same-sex marriage

grammy-awards.jpgTonight at the Grammy Awards, Queen Latifah will officiate at an onstage wedding of 34 couples, including same-sex couples, during a performance of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's hit song "Same Love."

From the New York Times:

At the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, pop's megastars will compete for the music industry's most prestigious trophy, and put on flashy performances that are sure to ricochet through social media.

But the producers behind the program, which is to be broadcast live by CBS at 8 p.m., are hoping that the biggest show-stopper of the night will be a much more solemn event: an on-air wedding of 34 couples -- gay, straight, old, young, of many races and many colors. The ceremony will be part of the hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's performance of their Grammy-nominated song "Same Love," which became a marriage-equality anthem last year just as that issue was drawing intense national attention.

Mr. Lewis, the group's producer, said that the weddings "will be in our minds the ultimate statement of equality, that all the couples are entitled to the same exact thing."

The segment follows what the Grammy organizers said was the show's long history of addressing timely social issues through music, like Elton John's duet in 2001 with Eminem, who was then widely criticized as homophobic. "We're serious about this," said Ken Ehrlich, the longtime producer of the Grammys.

Yet as part of a televised awards show that works hard for its ratings, showbiz will also play a part in this sacrament. Queen Latifah will officiate at the nuptials, and Madonna will join the number with Macklemore, Mr. Lewis and the song's featured vocalist, Mary Lambert. Grammy organizers said they knew that controversy might be inevitable, given those who oppose gay marriage or who might see the segment as trivializing a serious matter.

Freedom to Marry's Adam Polaski points out that the above performers won't be the only pro-marriage equality artists at the Grammys: at least ten of this year's nominees have publicly come out in support of the freedom to marry.


Graphic via Freedom to Marry.

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