Country Music And Gay Rights...Chely Wright and Carrie Underwood...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by PeterG, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    I recently saw an interview online with Chely Wright where she stated that since she came out as a lesbian in 2007, no major country music star has spoken out in any way to state that they were happy and/or proud of her for being the first (exclusively) country music singer to be openly gay. (I use the word exclusively because k.d. lang sang a number of different types of music, but most would argue that lang was never a country music singer to the degree that Wright was/is). Although in that video interview, Wright did say something about Brad Paisley, who Wright briefly dated. Something along the lines of how he told someone that he was happy for Wright being in a happier place.

    Today I saw on facebook (through Chely Wright's page) that Carrie Underwood has publicly come out in support of gay marriage. Some quotes from that article:

    Underwood later mentions the church she attends with her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher:

    As far as I know, no country music singer has been this outspoken on the issue of gay rights...especially at the peak of their career. Will a Dixie Chicks-backlash now happen to Underwood? Or will this article get buried? The article does say that she makes 20 million dollars a year when she has an album out and is touring. Maybe she figures she has enough money and has had enough success that she doesn't care what happens. I've often got the feeling that she's kind of a no-nonsense kind of person who is not truly all into the things that come along with fame...that if she lost it all, she'd be happy to be back on the farm and singing for herself. To me, Carrie Underwood is showing that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. :40beers:
     
  2. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

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    I hope the answer to your question, will she get a DC type response from the public, is a resounding No.
    Good on Carrie Underwood. I've always liked her.
     
  3. duane

    duane New Member

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    High-five to Carrie Underwood!
     
  4. Fridge_Break

    Fridge_Break Well-Known Member

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    Yay for Carrie! :cheer: I just last night listened to her new album (yet again), and it is amazing.
     
  5. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Good for Carrie.
    It can't be easy for even a high-profile celebrity to support Gay Rights in the "Bible Belt".
     
  6. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    Let's face it, Carrie didn't come up singing in honky-tonks. Maybe she feels like she got such a gift from Providence with the AI win, and her success since, that it's easier for her to take a chance.

    This isn't to at all take away from her courage in saying this, I applaud her completely.
     
  7. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    Notice that Carrie said her church is "gay friendly." As a church goer myself, and knowing many other practicing Christians, I have to say I don't actually know any who are not gay friendly. I'm sure there are some, and of course the Evangelicals are problematic in this area, but I think a large portion of Christians believe God loves us all, and therefore, so should we love everyone, regardless. And not judge. I don't have a problem with gay lifestyles anyway, so judging isn't even an issue, personally. I continue to beg people not to lump all Christians into a rigid, narrowly defined characterization. I know there are some "Christians" who are homophobes, but as far as I'm concerned, they aren't true Christians and need one heck of a lot of spiritual work!!
     
  8. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    What does this mean? I googled it to see if it was an expression I had not heard of, but google said, :huh:

    James Dobson

    Pat Robertson

    Billy Graham

    Rick Warren

    18 Anti-Gay Groups And Their Propoganda

    Fred Phelps

    Shall I continue? :p
     
  9. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Please, no. It's depressing and sad to see people full of self-righteous hate.

    I think a person's perception of homohobia amongst Christians can be influenced by their own church and location. Going to many churches in say, San Francisco, is not going to be the same as going to many churches in North Carolina, where they just passed a law banning gay marriage.

    But, I think it's hard to be unaware of the fact that there are many Christians and churches in this country that are not gay friendly.

    Anyway, I've never cared much for Carrie's music, but kudos to her for this interview. Maybe her interview speaks well not only for Carrie, but for where she thinks we're headed as a country.

    BTW Peter, I think the reference to Providence is about God's role in Carrie's success.
     
  10. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    No, PeterG. I was referencing my own personal experience. I certainly know of the list you wrote-and I think they are wrong. Of course I have heard of them. I was saying that in my personal references, my own knowledge of churches and attitudes where I live and work, I truly don't know of a church in my area that openly condemns gay people. I know many who embrace gay people. I have a gay couple in my neighborhood up here in North Georgia-yes-Deliverance country-who are very active workers in their Catholic church. I know numerous gay folks and couples who go to area churches. And this is small town/rural south. I've said it before-I'm Episcopalian and we have several Lesbians in our church leadership. Hurray!

    I just want others to know that there ARE many Christians-I believe the majority-who embrace all people and love them regardless. I have a problem with people lumping all Christians under the same roof and accusing everyone of the same things. Just sayin.
     
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  11. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Ever heard of an obscure singer known as Garth Brooks? Willie Nelson? Dolly Parton? Wynona Judd? Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Reba McEntire? Do we forget the late, great Miss Tammy Wynette?
     
  12. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Yeah...I'm not getting where the notion that Carrie Underwood is the only country artist to ever say such a thing is coming from. This article from 2009 quotes Dolly and notes that Reba McEntire and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland have made similar statements.

    http://www.theboot.com/2009/11/17/dolly-parton-gay-marriage/

    Could it be that Carrie Underwood, courtesy of Idol, has a pop following as well and thus gets more headlines?
     
  13. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I understand your frustration. I know many Christians who are not homophobes. I know a Catholic guy who personally is not opposed to gay marriage, but his church most certainly and vocally is opposed to it, and he definitely knows many Catholics who also are opposed.

    My friend's little sister was harassed by Christian classmates at her school during the Prop 8 campaign because she opposed the proposition. If she had gone to school in another county further north, that may not have been her experience.

    And when you look at the results of recent propositions in states like North Carolina, it's hard to escape the notion that a large percentage of Christians oppose gay marriage. It's possible that it's not as large a majority as it appears from the results. It may be that the most virulently homophobic people are the ones who vote. But, still, given the results, it's got to be a pretty large percentage.

    Even amongst Episcopalians, homosexuality was a divisive issue, but they ultimately have done better than most churches. When you look at high profile Christians leaders, you see more speaking out against homosexuality and gay marriage than supporting it.

    I think it's unfortunate that some people feel that all Christians are homophobes. Partly it's unfortunate for Christian gay people who feel that way because they may not feel that they can remain a part of the Christian church. I knew a guy who was a minister's son and the congregation turned on him when he came out. Fortunately, he found a church that welcomed gay members. Sadly, I don't think that's true for all gay Christains. I think this perception is also unfortunate for straight Christians because I think some of them question their own religious leaders and churches and don't feel quite comfortable with them. I think it's sad for a lot of people - gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian -- to see the kind of contempt and anger directed at gays by high profile Christian leaders.

    It's rarely all or nothing. Whether we're talking Christians or Country singers. The perception is that the Country base is not a tolerant buch. The reaction to the Dixie Chicks didn't help that image. But, again, it's not fair to label all country singers or country fans the same.
     
  14. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

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    I just try to fight the good fight every day and live how I think God wants me to live. And that means loving everybody and being accepting of those who might be different from me but who are of course precious in the eyes of God, which means I am called to love them unconditionally as well, and with acceptance and joy. But I do think there are a record number of Christians who are embracing of all. I'm 62. I remember the bad old days, and I can really honestly say things are evolving towards the better. Slowly, maybe-but truly getting better.

    That might not mean much to some, but looking back-there is progress. I too wish it was faster.

    I think you also have to acknowledge that many of the people who vote against gay marrriage etc. are not Christians. Not all the naysayers are from the religious community.

    This reminds me so much of when I was about 12 and the Civil Rights Movement came blowing through Atlanta. It got ugly in my church, and as a result, I quit going from the age of 17 until about 55. It hurt that much. But now....things are so different in my experience. Racially, things are light years ahead of where they were in 1962. Maybe not perfect, but really better. I am hoping that 20 years from now I can look back and say the same about how much better it is for our GLBT friends. I don't mean to be naive or insensitive or be looking with rose colored glasses. But i can say I think things are starting to move in the right direction, and I truly hope the Christian community will be an important part of making changes. Not the entireity of the Christian community, that's probably too much to hope for, but those of us who truly care and believe God's love embraces all of us, regardless.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2012
  15. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Good for her! That took a lot of balls being in the business she is in.
     
  16. duane

    duane New Member

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    Sure, a Dolly Parton finds it easier to voice her support of gay rights in 2009--WAY past her years as THE elite country artist. Carrie doing so at a time when her country music status can go from A to F is very commendable.
     
  17. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    What are your examples?

    I know Garth Brooks released "We Shall Be Free" as a single and it was his first to not reach the top 10 on the country charts. While it says nothing about gay rights or gay marriage, the song did include the line, "When we're free to love anyone we choose" which shocked some people at the time (1992).

    Thanks for that article. I wasn't aware that Jennifer Nettles had performed at Atlanta Gay Pride. That's the best example of someone who has taken a stand at the peak of their career. But Dolly Parton in 2009 is very different than Carrie Underwood in 2012. Dolly's last top 10 song (other than guest vocals or duets on other artist's songs) was 1989's brilliant Yellow Roses. So Dolly's recent comments would not mean she would get less airplay or sell less CD's as country radio hasn't supported Dolly in decades and her last album to go gold was 1993's "Slow Dancing With The Moon" (which actually made it to platinum status).
     
  18. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I didn't mean to imply that all people who oppose gay marriage are religious. Not at all. But when you look at the religious makeup of some of these states banning marriage and you look at what the religious spokespeople are saying, it's hard not to take away the belief that a significant number of Christians are opposed to gay marriage. I know that makes you sad and I know that it's not fair that some people wrongly assume that you are in that group just because you're Christian. However, I think it's unrealistic to believe that there aren't a large percentage of religious people who oppose gay marriage. Sadly, the majority of funding for Proposition 8, including some very offensive advertisments, was religious funding.

    I agree with you, though, that there's been a lot of progress, especially in the last ten years.

    But, having said that, I think we still have some way to go. I think that Carrie is going to have some backlash for her comments, and I do think it took principles and guts for her to say what she said. I respect her for it.
     
  19. falling_dance

    falling_dance Bravo, Patrick.

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    Brooks performed in the Equality Rocks concert that was part of the Millennium March on Washington in April 2000.
     
  20. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    To be fair to Dolly, gay marriage was not actually on the radar as an issue at the peak of her career. So I'm not sure how that is a fair criticism.

    Carrie Underwood is not a saint for saying this anymore than anyone else. I don't get how she is being made out to be. But, then, I've never understood the Carrie Underwood phenomenon. :rolleyes:
     
  21. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Well IMO Dolly is an American icon and Carrie is not. So Dolly's support may not carry the same financial risk but it has more gravitas. Dolly reaches into the less supportive older generation akin to Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor's support had more to do with changing my mom's views than anything a 20 something movie star could have said.

    Plus the fact that Dolly herself holds these views when she grew up in rural Bible Belt country is to her credit.
     
  22. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Don't know how you define elite, but I wouldn't write off a woman whose theme park draws 2.5 million guests annually, whose three massive dinner shows continue to sell out nightly and who continues to sell out arenas around the planet.

    When the album was released, Garth was very clear in interviews, including with Barbara Walters and Oprah, that the song is about his support for the gay community.
     
  23. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we should resent ANYONE who speaks up in support of the LGBT community, especially with everything that is going on in the United States right now. With pastors coming out weekly condemning LGBT people either saying that we should be put to death or put behind electric fences ala concentration camp style, anyone with this magnitude of celebrity who speaks out in support of equality is to be commended, not chastized.

    Carrie has absolutely nothing to gain by doing this and a lot more to lose. She comes from one of the most Conservative, religious areas of the USA. Her image has been molded in that of one of faith, family and good values, she will lose a lot of fans in the deep south as a result of her doing this.

    I for one, am one of her biggest fans, own all of her CD's, seen her in concert, fan club, been backstage to meet her, but I never ever expected her to announce her support for marriage equality. I was absolutely stunned to read the article on my way to a pride parade (coincidentally), I had a huge smile on my face. So this only sends her up about 10 billion more notches in my book.

    :kickass: to Carrie Underwood!
     
  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    That these people make statements like this in 2012 - claiming to be speaking for God - only shows how important this issue is.
    I believe these pastors may be quite surprised, when they meet their Maker!
     
  25. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I checked a country website to see what responses would be and they are mixed with some supporting Carrie and some spouting the Leviticus Bible verse promising to never give her another dime. The website also noted she and her husband attend an interdenominational church, though they are both Christians.
     
  26. kylet3

    kylet3 Well-Known Member

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    I'll be happy to give her my money as long as she keeps putting out music.
     
  27. cailuj365

    cailuj365 Well-Known Member

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    On the other hand, 2009 and 2012 are already very different eras in gay rights. In 2009, Obama had not declared his support for same-sex marriage; DADT had not been repealed; Glee and Lady Gaga were just getting started, not yet even cultural phenomenons. The difference is only three years, but a lot really has changed in such a short amount of time.


    That being said, it's still wonderful that Carrie has taken such an unequivocally favorable stance on gay marriage. She's one of the most popular and respected artists in all of music right now, and she has tons of fans. It's great to hear.
     
  28. heckles

    heckles Well-Known Member

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    Country music has always been a little gay. Think sparkly purple jackets embroidered with flowers. Think "pickin' and grinnin'"on Hee Haw. Johnny Cash...Johnny Weir...they're almost twins.
     
  29. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    LeAnn Rimes has shown her support for Chely via Twitter:

     
  30. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

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    Backlash

    AP is stating she's seeing backlash for her support of gay marriage, but they don't say what.