Americans who don’t support redefining marriage to include same-sex couples got a nationally televised message late last night from the music industry: Get over it.
With rapper-turned-talk host Queen Latifah officiating, 33 couples – some made up of two men or two women – got married near the end of the 56th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Madonna popped up during the spectacle to sing “Open Your Heart.” She followed rap duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis singing their hit “Same Love,” which was embraced last year by the “marriage equality” movement and contains the lyrics:
The right-wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
The mass wedding ceremony “was the height of fairness and love and the power of love for all people, at any time, in any combination,” Daft Punk songwriter Paul Williams told the Grammys audience.
Other than on Twitter, most commentators appeared to deem it appropriate for the Grammys to sponsor an apparent broadside against music fans who believe marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Mikael Wood, a pop music writer for the Los Angeles Times, opined to CNN’s Carol Costello this morning that conservatives aren’t the audience for the music awards show, anyway.
But Heritage Foundation scholar Ryan T. Anderson, 32, who writes and speaks widely on why marriage matters, suggested that the Grammys producers were as tone deaf as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently said some conservatives have no place in his state.
“If the music industry is saying that conservatives are not welcome, this shouldn’t be cause for complaint and hand-wringing,” Anderson told The Foundry. “It is an opportunity for more conservatives to become better artists and culture creators, so they’re not dependent on those who trash their values.”
“We’re not taking a stand on a political issue,” Neil R. Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, told reporters after the show. “We’re taking a stand on a humanitarian issue. … This is about people who love each other and want to be together.”
In the ongoing marriage debate, Heritage’s Anderson is used to addressing the intersection of culture and law — in this case, legislation or court action that redefines marriage.
“Culture shapes law, but so too does law shape culture. The law both reflects our values and teaches values, especially to younger generations,” Anderson told The Foundry.
“I majored in music at Princeton, and one thing I learned there is that culture is more important than culture war,” he said, adding: “Still, we need to encourage conservatives to develop good art, good music, good film and television.”