Since President Obama came out in support of gay marriage last week, there’s been speculation that the move could cost him support with his most loyal backers, African-Americans, who, polls suggest, are less keen on same-sex nuptials than whites. But one high-profile African-American Obama fan says he’s fully on board with Obama’s stance.
In an interview with CNN, Jay-Z pointedly likened anti-gay bias to racism. “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love,” the rapper declared. “[It] is no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
As Gawker notes, Jay-Z hasn’t always been such a model of open-mindedness. His past lyrics include some pretty offensive anti-gay slurs. But hey, if President Obama can evolve, why can’t Jay-Z?
The more significant political question is whether this suggests that in the wake of Obama’s announcement, African-American support for gay marriage may be on the rise. Some recent polling offers evidence that it may be.
Still, as Jay-Z pointed out, handicapping the politics of Obama’s decision misses the point. “I think [announcing support of gay marriage is] the right thing to do, so whether it costs [Obama] votes or not — again, it’s not about votes,” Jay-Z said. “It’s about people. It’s the right thing to do as a human being.”