Rap­per Mack­le­more wades into Aus­tralia’s gay mar­riage de­bate

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World -

US rap­per Mack­le­more is wad­ing into Aus­tralia’s gay-mar­riage de­bate by vow­ing to sing his mar­riage equal­ity an­them “Same Love” dur­ing a week­end rugby fi­nal.

Ben­jamin Hag­gerty, whose stage name is Mack­le­more, will be head­lin­ing the pre-game en­ter­tain­ment in Syd­ney on Sun­day at the Na­tional Rugby League Grand Fi­nal, the Aus­tralian ver­sion of the Su­per Bowl.

But with the na­tion in the midst of a two-month postal bal­lot to gauge pub­lic opin­ion to­ward le­gal­iz­ing gay mar­riage, some op­po­nents of change want “Same Love” cen­sored.

Mack­le­more told Los Angeles Ra­dio KPWR be­fore fly­ing to Syd­ney on Thurs­day that he was aware of the con­tro­versy but would not change his song list.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing ac­tu­ally be­cause I’m play­ing ‘Same Love’ and they’re go­ing through right now try­ing to le­gal­ize same-sex mar­riage in Aus­tralia, so I’m get­ting a lot of tweets from an­gry, old white dudes in Aus­tralia,” Mack­le­more said.

“I think there was a pe­ti­tion to­day to ban me from play­ing,” he added. “I’m gonna go harder.”

Some se­nior gov­ern­ment fig­ures who op­pose gay mar­riage and other high-pro­file rugby fans ac­cused the league of politi­ciz­ing the game.

League chief ex­ec­u­tive Todd Green­berg said his or­ga­ni­za­tion had to take a po­si­tion on same-sex mar­riage as part of its di­ver­sity pol­icy.

“I think it is one of the bravest and best de­ci­sions we have made for pre-match en­ter­tain­ment, but peo­ple will be the judge of that on Sun­day,” Green­berg told re­porters.

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tony Ab­bott, a gay mar­riage op­po­nent who de­ter­mined two years that his gov­ern­ment should ask the Aus­tralian pub­lic to de­cide the is­sue, tweeted on Wed­nes­day that rugby fans “shouldn’t be sub­jected to a politi­cized grand fi­nal. Sport is sport.”

“Every­one has a right to ex­press their opin­ion. The opin­ion that I ex­pressed yes­ter­day was that the NRL had made a poor call in do­ing what they did,” Ab­bott told re­porters on Thurs­day

At­tor­ney-gen­eral Ge­orge Bran­dis, who sup­ports gay mar­riage, sup­ported Mack­le­more’s per­for­mance of “Same Love” in a sta­dium filled with 85,000 peo­ple and to be broad­cast na­tion­ally.

“It is one of his most pop­u­lar songs, and for Mr. Ab­bott or any­one else to say that it should be banned, I think is a bizarre thing to say,” Bran­dis told Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Corp. “I thought Mr. Ab­bott be­lieved in free­dom of speech.”

More than 16 mil­lion Aus­tralians have been asked in a postal bal­lot whether they think the law should be changed to al­low same­sex mar­riage.

The re­sult will be an­nounced Novem­ber 15. If a ma­jor­ity of mailin re­sponses sup­port mar­riage equal­ity, Par­lia­ment will con­sider a bill to le­gal­ize gay mar­riage within a month. Some law­mak­ers have said they will vote down a same-sex mar­riage bill re­gard­less of pub­lic opin­ion. – AP

Mack­le­more per­forms at the 2017 iheartra­dio Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Las Ve­gas. US Septem­ber 23. Photo: AP

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