Are gay men and
lesbians the only ones who think President Bush's
Federal Marriage Amendment to forever ban same-sex marriage
is an outrage? Not at all. For The Advocate's
annual Music Issue, we asked nongay stars in all
genres of music to send us their opinions on same-sex
matrimony and the FMA. We were overwhelmed by the friendship
and support we received. Forty-two artists contacted
us--opera superstars, vital young pop divas,
reigning rockers, and at least one bad boy
who's reconsidered his own homophobia over the years.
So many artists cared to say so much that we've
had to confine their remarks to brief excerpts in
these pages. And another thing: Buy their records.
"President Bush's idea to amend
the Constitution of the United States so as to ban gay
and lesbian marriage...is an obvious and
sensational election-year prank.... It is completely
inappropriate for the federal government to wade into
an issue that is so deeply embedded in both religious
practice and states' rights. Furthermore, as
the old saying goes, the horse is out of the barn. Even
if such an amendment were passed, in today's world it
is likely to be as effective as Prohibition was."
Midori, Grammy-nominated violinist
"It is unthinkable and sad that an
amendment to the Constitution is planned that would
deny gay and lesbian Americans the right to marry, now
or ever.... The Constitution is one of the great
documents in history, and it would be shameful if it
were diminished by such a plan."
Legendary couple Sir Andre Previn, pianist and composer,
and Anne-Sophie Mutter, violinist
"Let me state that I'm not gay and
I am a faithful Christian, but I feel that by throwing
the Bible around and targeting the gay and lesbian
population, we as a country are doing the opposite of what
we are supposed to be learning from the Bible."
Willa Ford, pop singer
"When any two people love one another and
are committed to one another, they should be allowed
to marry. It's a shame that our president is
such a narrow-minded person. He needs to be out in November."
Cyndi Lauper, singer and songwriter
"I believe that marriage should be
recognized as a publicly acknowledged legal contract
by the states as the formal union of two individuals
who care deeply for each other and wish to share their lives
with each other. The validity of such a union should not be
determined based on sexual orientation any more than
it is determined by race or religious preference. The
proposal that such a union would be made illegal by a
constitutional amendment goes against the freedom our
Constitution protects and will not enable us to enter into
the kind of dialogue which has produced so much
positive societal change in the past."
Renee Fleming, soprano superstar
"I'm married for 21 years, and I
believe in a happy marriage, and I believe everyone is
entitled to one. My children feel the same way, and my
daughter was telling me to be sure that I voiced my
opposition to the amendment.... I think [Bush] is
courting the votes of the religious right, and that
seems to be a big part of his basic power."
Kris Kristofferson, Grammy- and Golden
Globe-winning actor and singer-songwriter
"America's Constitution is about
equal rights for all and the freedom to pursue
happiness. We believe wholeheartedly in that vision.
There should be no place in our Constitution for negative
amendments, such as the one Bush proposes, which will
put discrimination into that sacred document."
The B-52's, featuring vocalists Fred Schneider
(who is openly gay) and Kate Pierson
"In '92 George Bush misjudged the
American people, and his obsession with family values
cost him the reelection. I hope gay marriage will do
the same thing for George W."
Susan Ottaviano of Book of Love
"As a Canadian, I proudly tell my
children that as of now they can marry whomever they
choose and love whomever they love.... And I can
tell my American friends that our country hasn't
disappeared into the ocean; nor have we all turned
into pillars of salt. The most disturbing thing about
Bush's antigay amendment is that he and his
posse have obviously decided that the best way for them to
win an election...is with the politics of
exclusion, xenophobia, and hate. It is the
world's responsibility to tell him that it's unacceptable."
Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies
"The Bush administration's
constant attack on individual liberties has to be
stopped.... There is already enough shame in this
country about our past; let's not act in a shameful
way for our future."
Andre Watts, Grammy-winning classical pianist