Grammys Feature Same-Gender Weddings

By Albert Lin

One of the highlights of Sunday’s Grammy Awards was a mass wedding of 33 couples, many of whom are same-gender partners.

The ceremony took place between performances of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ pro-gay-marriage hit “Same Love” and Madonna’s “Open Your Heart.” The couples reportedly were found using a casting service.

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis told The Hollywood Reporter: “When such a critically acclaimed and popular rap artist puts marriage equality center stage at one of the biggest events of the year, it is the latest in a long line of signs that our nation not only accepts, but celebrates the love and commitment of gay couples today.”

The weddings were legally officiated by actress/singer Queen Latifah, who said afterward that she had been sworn in as a temporary commissioner by the state of California. “The weight of it comes down, because it wouldn’t matter if you’re same-sex couples or heterosexual couples or interracial couples, it doesn’t matter to me, this is someone’s life committed to one another, and you want to make sure you do it right,” she said of being asked to perform the ceremony. “That is what sunk in for me.

“I look forward to the day when presiding over a historic wedding ceremony like this is just the norm—normal special, not extra, extra special,” she added. “To me, it’s special for all the couples who married today. And I look forward to dashing off to go sign marriage certificates. It’s awesome.”

We’re very proud of what happened tonight,” Neil Portnow, President of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences told reporters. “I think it’s as elegant and meaningful and powerful as we wanted it to be.

“We’re not taking a stand on a political issue. We’re taking a stand on a humanitarian issue. … This is about people who love each other and want to be together.”

Not everyone was happy. Todd Starnes, host of the radio program FOX News & Commentary, blasted the ceremony in a series of tweets, including:

Writing on, Spencer Kornhaber suggested that it was a publicity stunt. “The main reason for the nuptials, it seemed, was to give the musicians on stage and recording-academy members a chance to announce themselves as good people,” he wrote.

“It’s progress to have same-sex marriages sanctioned on a huge national TV event. But it says something that the real stars of the moment—the people committing to love one another for eternity—were given only a few, fleeting moments on camera. It was their day, but it wasn’t their show.”

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