Jay-Z is taking a stance as the first in hip-hop to support President Barack Obama’s views on gay marriage. As previously reported Obama announced earlier this month that he supported same-sex marriage after conversations with openly gay and lesbian service members and talks with his wife and daughters. “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,” said Obama.
Since then, Obama’s caught flack from Republicans and Christian leaders. However, Jay-Z praised the president’s views as helping to end discrimination. While announcing his Made In America festival in Philadelphia this week, the rap mogul was asked by CNN what he thought about the president’s same-sex marriage approval. To some people’s surprise, Jay said he agreed with Obama’s sentiments and likened discrimination on the issue to that of the plight of blacks. “I’ve always thought it [a gay marriage ban] was something that was still holding the country back,” said Jay. “What people do in their own homes is their business, and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business. It’s no different than discriminating against blacks. It’s discrimination, plain and simple.”
“It’s really not about votes. It’s about people,” he added. “I think it’s the right thing to do as a human being.” Both Jay and his wife, Beyoncé, have long been Obama supporters. Bey sang at Obama’s 2008 inauguration and recently assisted the first lady in her “Let’s Move” campaign to fight childhood obesity.
In addition to Jay-Z, President Obama has garnered support from Will Smith. While promoting his new movie Men In Black 3 in Berlin on May 14, Smith called the president’s announcement a “brave move,” particularly in an election year. He added, however, that he fully supports people finding their own happiness. “If anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form,” Smith said.
Before Jay and Will expressed their support for Obama’s gay marriage approval, a number of celebs voiced support, from Kim Kardashian to Russell Simmons. Click here to check out a list of Obama’s latest supporters.