I watched last night’s telecast of the 2014 Grammy Awards live although I recorded it on my DVR. I am so very glad that I did both. Like most viewers, I was surprised by the mass marriage officiated by singer/songwriter/rapper/actress Queen Latifah, and preceded by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Same Love” (featuring Mary Lambert), of couples from all walks of life. They were mixed-race, same-sex, different sex-same race and any and all permutations in between. In total, 33 couples chose to be legally married in the State of California by rap’s beautiful ebony Queen herself in a ceremony that included Madonna singing a slow version of her 1986 hit “Open Your Heart.”</p?
I have watched reaction to the event spread over the Internet throughout the night. I happened to be on Facebook when the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force asked for comments on the night’s most memorable and emotional performance. Most people, both LGBT and straight, were elated. Then again, if someone is following NGLTF (or “The Taskforce” as they wish to be known these days), that person is probably already at least an ally. Hence, the fact that at least 90% of the comments were positive shouldn’t be surprising. What I did find surprising is the 10% who were the marriage equality equivalent of Scrooge and seemed either totally removed from the struggles we as LGBT face or couldn’t care less about marriage equality as if it were some kind of frivolous nonsense. As someone who has lived at least 20 years of her life as a lesbian and, even now, am living as a female-identified bisexual woman, I can say that marriage equality is by no means frivolous. I don’t care if I never have to avail myself of the right to marry someone of the same sex, I want to know that I could if the right person came into my life. How ass-backwards for someone to disparage me, and those like me, for daring to want the same things that heterosexuals take for granted! Are LGBT people, other than the comment authors, doing so wonderfully that we can afford to dismiss any right we have won with a lot of silver, blood, sweat and not a few tears? I don’t believe so.
There is a part of the positive commentary that bothers me, however. Most viewers didn’t notice that there were mixed race couples marrying as well. Until mixed race marriage was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia in 1967, it was illegal in many states (if not most) for whites to marry anyone who wasn’t white. Miscegenation laws specifically prevented blacks and whites from marrying, very often using biblical references as the reason. Does that sound at all familiar? Therefore, when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, with Mary Lambert performed “Same Love,” they really did mean marriage equality for all people–not LGBT, not straight, not same ethnicity/race. All people. What is it about “all” that some do not understand?
In closing, I would like to thank the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for their support of marriage equality. I was so filled with gratitude, joy, wonderment and vicarious pride that I cried. State Defense of Marriage Act-like statutes are being struck down by courts throughout the country. It will not be long before “Same Love” will be the law of the land. In case there is any doubt whatsoever, even though WickedWomanMag.com is not quite open yet, we stand for marriage equality for ALL people over the age of consent. Equality for all is at the heart and soul of WWM and always will be. If someone can say to you that you are not allowed to love and commit to another person because of your sex, gender expression, race or ethnicity, then you are not viewed as equal. It is as simple as that.
Here is the YouTube video of last night’s heartfelt performance.