Vocally Christian country crooner Carrie Underwood has come out in support of gay marriage, Britain’s The Independent reports.
While the remarks to a British publication aren’t shocking to a European audience, the decision to vocalize this opinion is questionable for the bubbly blond, 29, whose four albums have reached no.1 on the music charts due, in part, to her decidedly conservative fan base back in the U.S.
The wholseome Oklahoman with a God-fearing Baptist background burst onto the country scene after winning “American Idol” in 2005. She says that her decision to support gay marriage was motivated in part by her Christian faith, saying that she doesn’t like “people who use the Bible for hate.” She added, “that’s not how I would want myself as a Christian to be represented.”
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry,” she told the paper. “I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.”
The Baptist church tends to oppose gay marriage, so now she and her husband, Nashville Predators hockey player Mike Fisher, attend a non-denominational church near their Nashville home. “Our church is gay friendly,” she said. “Above all, God wanted us to love others…We have to love each other and get on with each other. It’s not up to me to judge anybody.”
Underwood, whose big hits include “Before He Cheats” and “Jesus Take the Wheel,” has earnings upwards of $20 million, according to Forbes.
In 2003, fellow country musicians the Dixie Chicks received serious backlash for comments that lead singer Natalie Maines made at a London concert in the run-up to the Iraq war.
“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all,” Maines said. “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”
Radio stations across America promptly stopped playing their music, and the Dixie Chicks have yet to regain the popularity they once held among country music fans.