We still don’t know yet who’s going to take home the Moonman tomorrow night for Best Video with a Social Message, but the VMAs has got us thinking about last year’s winner in the category. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won big with “Same Love,” and while there is still a ways to go, it’s good to know marriage equality has taken serious strides since that VMA win.
Last year’s VMAs came not long after two major Supreme Court cases for marriage equality, and after the program aired, a number of states legalized same-sex marriage, starting with New Jersey.
Other states to embrace marriage equality included Hawaii (it’s been working on it for twenty years), Illinois and New Mexico. Just the other day a federal judge in Florida officially decided the state ban on marriage equality to be unconstitutional. Unfortunately, while a number of state judges struck down bans, sometimes the case then just went right back to court, putting same-sex couples in that state into a sort of marriage limbo.
Support for marriage equality continues to grow, with the org Freedom to Marry now reporting that 59% of Americans support the rights of LGBTQ couples to marry. That number is even higher with millennials, who are often quite passionate about issues of equality.
While “Same Love” isn’t the first song in the history of songwriting to be about LGBTQ issues, it’s the first song about same-sex marriage to reach the Top 40. “The fact that a song solely dedicated to the message of marriage equality is climbing the charts and quickly becoming a popular song across the country is a big deal,” said Charlie Joughin of the Human Rights Campaign while he watched it happen. “It’s indicative of a changing attitude.”
When MTV Act interviewed Macklemore about the song, he said, “You can only watch injustice go on for so long until you’re compelled to say something. To speak out against it. I read an article about a 13-year-old kid who committed suicide because he was ridiculed at school over being gay. That was it. I had to say something.”
And people all over the country are saying something: through writing, through talking, through voting and through activism.
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