Rapper Jay-Z is endorsing President Obama’s statement in support of gay marriage, saying “it’s the right thing to do.”
In an interview with CNN, the rap mogul said he supports President Obama’s call for legalizing gay marriage, adding that the issue ultimately may cost the President votes in the upcoming 2012 election.
“I’ve always thought of it as something that is still holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business, they can choose to love whoever they love. That’s their business. It’s no different then discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple,” said Jay-Z.
“I think it’s the right thing to do, so whether or not it costs him votes … it’s really not about votes, it’s about people. So whether or not it costs him votes, it’s the right thing to do as a human being,” he added.
Jay-Z, who has endorsed Mr. Obama’s bid for re-election, is the latest celebrity to comment on the 2012 election. The Brooklyn-born rapper joins a string of celebrities, including actor George Clooney and Sarah Jessica Parker, who have entered the debate over the race for president. Speaking earlier this year, actor Brad Pitt echoed Jay-Z’s statement, saying he plans to support the Democratic incumbent, and that he supports state-based campaigns aimed to extending the right to marry.
“I am an Obama supporter and I’m backing his election campaign,” Mr. Pitt said at a screening of his film “Killing Them Softly” in London. “Gay marriage is inevitable. The next generation, they get it. It is just a matter of time before it becomes a reality.”
Mr. Obama, who faces a tough bid for re-election, announced earlier this year that he supports legalizing gay marriage. Speaking ahead of the 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama famously expressed concerns with gay marriage, saying his views were “evolving.” Yet, with his 2012 election looming, Mr. Obama held a nationally-televised interview with ABC News, saying cultural trends towards accepting gay marriage seemed inevitable.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Mr. Obama said at the time.