Carrie Underwood Backs Gay Marriage June 13, 2012

Carrie Underwood Backs Gay Marriage

In what might prove to be a career-challenging move, country singer Carrie Underwood told British publication The Independent that she supports same-sex marriage:

“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” she said. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.

The singer and her husband, pro hockey player Mike Fisher, attend what Underwood describes as a “gay friendly” church in Nashville. Underwood went on to explain that her support for marriage equality stems from her faith, and that it isn’t anyone’s right to use their beliefs for hate or to judge others.

I commend Underwood for coming out and risking the backlash she may get from her mostly-conservative fanbase. Her popularity may even help to start a worthwhile conversation within the more moderate churches and propel others in her sector of the entertainment industry to show their support.

Country music fans might recognize parallels in the potential backlash against Underwood to the Dixie Chicks’ fallout with their fans after their public declaration in 2003 that they were “ashamed” to be from the same state as George W. Bush after the United States entered war with Iraq. Whether or not you’re a fan of Underwood, hopefully you agree that she doesn’t deserve to lose any popularity over her remarks. It would be a sign that fans of the genre have become a little more progressive with their beliefs since that incident.

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  • EivindKjorstad

     At this point, the tide has clearly turned. Thus coming out as a supporter now isn’t all that brave. At this point it amounts to betting on the *clearly* winning horse. It is true that a majority of Americans may still be against gay marriage, but the trend has been clear towards increased support for a long time.

    Furthermore, even today, if you plot support versus age, you’ll find that among those over 60 something like 20% supports gay marriage, while among those who are 18-29 the support is 65%. Relatively few change their mind (and those who do, go in the direction of more support) and every year a fraction of the people over 60 die off, while a group of young people turn 18, likely even more supportive.

    It’s a domino-effect: by now quite a few of the young ones who turn 18 have -parents- that support gay marriage, by the time they’re the parents, gay marriage won’t be controversial in the least (“even grandma supported that!”) Furthermore, with Obama officially out of the cupboard, being supportive of gay marriage is clearly a tenable position to hold, *even* for someone dependant on popular support from the masses.

    I doubt Carrie will suffer for this. A decade ago, sure. Today ? Not so much. To the degree it’ll have an effect at all, it will be decreasing the median age of her fans somewhat, which isn’t a bad thing. Besides, she’ll be able to, in effect, say “told you so” in a decade when the huge majority is in support of gay marriage.

  • TiltedHorizon

    “Underwood went on to explain that her support for marriage equality
    stems from her faith, and that it isn’t anyone’s right to use their
    beliefs for hate or to judge others.”

    Another non “True Christian ®”, and the world is a little better for it.

  • AxeGrrl

    Before he was traded to Nashville, her husband (Mike Fisher) played hockey for the Ottawa Senators ~ and this city really misses him.  All the years he was here, he proved himself to be a guy of real integrity, generosity and compassion.  And never ‘in your face’ when it comes to his religious beliefs…

    this news of he and Carrie attending a ‘gay friendly’ church in Nashville seems completely in keeping with what he’s already demonstrated character-wise.  Kudos to both of them for taking a public stand on marriage equality (risky or not).

  • Erp

    The Christian Post article comes with a different slant (interesting choice of negative words).  Also comments from their readers.

  • Alice

    “Although she was raised in a Baptist church, Underwood and her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, attend a nondenominational congregation that has an unconventional understanding of God’s word. She feels that the most important tenet of Christianity is love” writes The Christian Post.

    Nice juxtaposition there: love = unconventional Christianity.

  •  I don’t know, the majority of her fan base is still heavily on the side against it. It is not a popular choice for a country singer to make. I don’t think at this juncture, for her, it is “amounts to betting on the *clearly* winning horse”.

  • aaplfanboi

    It’s always sad when someone does a brave thing like supporting the gay community to see all the cowards crawl out of the woodwork to say how not brave it is.

    Good for you, Carrie!

  • Very brave, considering the usual country fanbase! Maybe she’ll nudge some people in a more tolerant direction.

  • “Our church is gay friendly,” the 2005 “American Idol” winner said, revealing that hers is one of many churches that adopt the divisive stance.”

    Nothing divides like friendship!

  • I’m not surprised. Despite efforts on this forum to suggest otherwise, I think a significant minority, or possibly even a small majority of Christians in the U.S. are fairly comfortable with homosexuality, don’t see it as a sin, and support same-sex marriage. We don’t hear much from them because, like most people, they have little or no public presence. But you only have to look at the statistics- the fact that more than half of the population supports gay marriage, and the fact that more than 75% self-identify as Christian, to figure out that an awful lot of Christians are not homophobic (and of course, many are homosexual themselves).

    There’s nothing in the Bible that condemns homosexuality, and very little if any that condemns homosexual behavior. That makes it easy for churches to be “gay friendly”, and many are. As the social environment rapidly shifts towards comfort with homosexuality, the conservative fringe gets louder, which can be misinterpreted as a strong Christian opposition. But I don’t think it exists.

    Most of the Christians I know either support same-sex marriage, or the whole issue is simply unimportant to them- they don’t have much opinion one way or the other. But I’ve also not heard any of my Christian friends use the term “sin”, even when we’re discussion religion. Honestly, that’s just not a concept that most seem to see as central to their views on Christianity. I think that’s another thing that’s coming from the conservative minority, not the mainstream Christian center.

  • BatDaddy

     Trust me, Nashville loves him! And I have a new respect for Underwood.

  • BatDaddy

    I’m in Nashville, and as you’d expect this story is making the rounds on our local news stations. Having engaged in some commenting on the facebook pages for this news article, I can state pretty clearly that this is a brave move, at least in light of her career and her main fan base – which is very conservative and religious. Every other comment I’ve come across reads “won’t buy her music anymore” or “that’s awful” or “she’s a fake Christian” and the like.

    Now, whether or not these people who are up in arms actually do buy her music, or if this stance of hers gains new fans (who are willing to buy her music) – it remains to be seen if this will impact her career one way or the other. But it is nice to see a person in her particular niche/field stand up and support equal rights.

  • Alex

    Fortunately for Carrie, the atmosphere of the country is one of growing resentment towards conservatives and the seemingly “anti-people” policies they try to enact. This means that it will be less likely that she will run into the “Dixie Chicks problem” and be shunned, ignored, and threatened for taking a stand.

    Fingers crossed that this (coupled with Obama and Biden’s support) marks the tipping point for public opinion, and therefore policy, in favor of equality and treating everyone like a human being!

  • Stev84

    You only have to look at Chely Wright and how she was treated when she came out as gay to know how the industry at large feels. She received death treats and all kinds of hate mail from “fans”. The industry itself also shut her out and she wasn’t invited to any events anymore. No one reached out to her officially. Only some in private, so no one else would know.

  • Celeste

    I don’t like much country, but she is one of the few singers I enjoy. I think I’ll go buy an album of hers now.

  • Kirby Clendenon

    I support you Carrie.  Think I’ll go buy one of your CD’s just to show my approval.  And BTW, what Carrie said whas nothing like what the Dixie Chicks said.  Not a good comparison.

  • walkamungus

    Speaking of hockey, the You Can Play Project  ( was conceived in the hockey community. 

    You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.”

  • AxeGrrl

    Needless to say, I’m not surprised 🙂  but great to hear, nonetheless!

  • We can hope she gets shunned by the industry. She has a nice voice, but too much of her material is of the shitkicker variety. That’s how the Dixie Chicks were, and when Country turned its back on them, they moved to a much more sophisticated style, targeting a different audience. Best thing that could have happened to them. All the best Country singers are the ones that have moved away from the genre a bit.

  • TheAnalogKid

    I was just at the “180 Movie” FB page and there was a post asking “Has Carrie Underwood taken the wheel back from Jesus”?

  • Another step on the path to equality… and to an era where Christians will claim they were the ones all along who made this possible.

  • TheAnalogKid
  • Drew M.


  • Great IAM

    Before you start talking out your ass. The bible says that if a man lies with another man he shall be put to death. I wouldn’t say that’s anything “little” on the topic. Do your research. The fact that she came out in support is a violation to her faith. That is a big step in the right direction.

  • That’s arguable. The passage you are quoting is from a part of Leviticus that describes what ancient proto-Jews were required to do to maintain their tribal identity. It isn’t obviously a command directed to all people, and plenty of biblical scholars recognize that distinction. There’s no particular reason for a Christian to think it applies to them, unless they are looking for biblical ammunition against something they already oppose.

    Her position is not obviously a violation of her faith, or she probably would not have it. Plenty of Christians and Christian churches accept homosexuality and same-sex relationships… because they don’t believe this violates any tenets of Christianity. When you base your beliefs on something as sloppy as the Bible, any number of interpretations are equally reasonable (or unreasonable).

  • Pseudonym

    Carrie Underwood has said that the government should recognise and legalise same-sex marriage.

    She has not said that it’s not a sin to have gay sex, which is what you apparently believe those two passages in Leviticus mean. She has therefore not crossed the line that you just arbitrarily drew. The claim that she’s anything which is “a violation to her faith” is unsupported by evidence.

    Of course, she may have just pissed off the leaders and much of the congregation of her church, but that’s not the same thing at all.

    We can discuss what those particular verses in Leviticus mean and how modern Christians should apply them at another time if you like. That’s not relevant here.

  • Great IAM

    No reason other then the fact that it is the “written” word of god. I was a christian and I was tought that you either take the book as complete, unquestioned truth or you weren’t a true christian. No questions asked. So I do believe that she is standing up to her belief. Which is going against god.

  • Pseudonym

    I tell a lie. Further research reveals that she is a member of a gay-friendly church. So she hasn’t pissed off the leaders and congregation of her church. Plus, there’s pretty definitive evidence that backing same-sex marriage is not against her faith.

  • If you believe in God, it is the written word of that God directed towards a people who predated Christians. There is no more reason for a Christian to think that passage applies to them than there is to believe that the related passages about diet, hairstyle, etc. apply to them.

  • Callice

    I think it really all depends on where you’re at. I would be surprised if there was a  high concentration of pro-gay Christians in the South. So for some people, like myself, it can seem like the majority of Christians do not like gays since that is mainly what we’re surrounded by :). 

  • Great IAM

    I suppose two men could marry and not have sex. Then I would understand your justification for defending the bible. Otherwords the interpretations of the bible by scholars doesn’t mean shit. Words don’t need interpretation. It is what it is. I would love to hear your evidence.

  • Great IAM

    Then by default. Why believe any of it?

  • Pseudonym

    What I was trying to say in my original post, which may have gotten lost, is that even if you think something is against your religious code, that doesn’t mean you think that the state should make it illegal.

    This is my favourite non-fiction C.S. Lewis quote:

    I quite agree with the Archbishop that no sin, simply as such,
    should be made a crime. Who the deuce are our rulers to enforce their
    opinions about sin on us? — a lot of professional politicians, often
    venal time-servers, whose opinion on a moral problem in one’s life we should attach very little value to. Of course many acts which are sins
    against God are also injuries to our fellow citizens, and must on that
    account, but only on that account, be made crimes. But of all the sins
    in the world I should have thought homosexuality was the one that least
    concerns the State. We hear too much of the State. Government is at its
    best a necessary evil. Let’s keep it in its place.

    I obviously disagree with the implication that homosexuality is a sin, but it otherwise fits my view pretty much exactly.

    As for “interpretations by scholars”, Leviticus was written in Hebrew by specific people in a specific time and place and in response to specific concerns. Unpacking all that is what scholars do; the Bible is no different from any other ancient text in that respect.

  • Pseudonym

    FWIW, I was brought up a Christian, and I was taught nothing even closely resembling that. Admittedly, my church was more up the liberal end of the spectrum.

    For every personal testimony, there is an equal and opposite personal testimony.

  • Sindigo

    That’s the first reasonable thing you’ve said in this thread.

  • Sindigo

    Absolutely, you never know. People look to their heroes for their opinions and to some, she may well be a hero.

  • Absolutely. Most Christians in the U.S. are not living in the Bible Belt, although the noisiest, most fundamental ones are. The philosophical view of Christians in the U.S. are highly fragmented by region.

  •  Bingo.

  • Of course words require interpretation. There are orders of magnitude more words of biblical interpretation that have been written than there are words in the Bible.

    Most Christians in the world, and even in the U.S., are not biblical literalists. They do not believe that the Bible can be taken literally. They believe it is understood by reflection and interpretation. The Bible does not say that homosexuality is a sin, and it does not say that homosexual behavior (at least, outside of certain Jewish tribes) is a sin. That interpretation has to be made from limited passages, and many do not read things that way.

  • The little guy

    So what your saying is that if it only says it once in the bible than those who follow it shouldn’t believe? 🙂 1st Corinthians makes it pretty clear that those who practice homosexuality will not have any part in the kingdom of God. Specifically chapter 6:9 holds this truth. It can’t be interpreted any other way than that.

    Not having any part in the kingdom of God (eternity in heaven) can only happen if a person is living in sin without repentance.

    Even if you want to be literal, which I wouldn’t recommend, this scripture states a homosexual will not go to heaven. However, now we are getting to the facts (heaven and hell) that you don’t believe, and it’s not my job to convert you, so their is no meaningful discussion to have here.

  • J Cagle

    The Christians I know, including myself, do not accept gay marriage or homosexuality. It says in the Bible that a homosexual person will not enter the gates of Heaven. Just because we are kind to homosexual people and love the person they are, does not mean that we love the SIN in their lives. You cannot be a true Christian and support something that is an abomination and NOT of God. Just like murder, premarital sex, stealing, and so on, homosexuality is wrong and not of God. And as far as gay friendly churches, homosexual people aren’t banned from coming to church. Most Christians are welcoming to whoever walks into their home church. That does not mean we support their lifestyle or choices. You can love a person and not like their actions.

  • 1 Corinthians is not the word of God, or the word of Jesus, but the beliefs of Paul, himself a sexual deviant. And even disallowing that, there’s the reasonable interpretation that he’s talking about either (a) the morals of his time, not universal morals, or (b) sexual purity in the sense of relations between men who are not married (not an option at that place and time).

    Again, since many Christians all over the world don’t find that the Bible prohibits sexual relations amongst same sex partners (particularly in committed relationships), it is obvious that interpretations do vary, regardless of whether some Christian sects choose to accept that fact. And of course, many Christians simply don’t believe that every word of the Bible is correct, or must be taken literally.

  • Pseudonym

    I think you’ll find that many liberal Christians are open to the fact that Paul of Tarsus was sometimes wrong, and to the extent that he was right, his letters were addressed to specific people in a specific place at a specific time in history in response to specific concerns.

    The notion of “homosexuality” does not appear anywhere in the Bible at all. What is condemned is certain sex acts. And even those sex acts obviously had some context behind them.

    It wasn’t until 100 or so years ago that the concept of sexual orientation was understood. It would be clearly unreasonable for Paul of Tarsus to have understood it, either.

    I have no problem with interpreting Paul’s statement as “literal”, in the sense that he literally believed what he wrote. But I don’t think he’d ever met anyone who was in a stable, loving, monogamous same-sex relationship of the kind that we know today. The very possibility never even occurred to him.

    By the way, you should look up the controversy about the word arsenokoites some time.

  • kaydenpat

    There are Christians who accept homosexuality as nothing different than heterosexuality.  There are Christian homosexuals.  You don’t speak for all Christians.

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