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Michael Franti: Opposition to gay marriage is dying

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michaelfranti

Reggae artist Michael Franti performed Friday night at The Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville, and a friend at the show reports it was about what you’d expect: Great reggae, with hardcore followers grooving mightily to Franti’s Bob Marley-inspired one-love vibe. (Opener Nic Cowan reportedly was a hard act to follow, my pal reports.)

I interviewed Franti for last Thursday’s edition of Weekend, and while our conversation focused predominantly on the music, we also chatted a bit about the gay marriage debate that’s been a flashpoint of this political season. The day before we talked, President Obama had come out in support of gay marriage, and Franti has a very Zen-like attitude toward the opposition to the issue.

“I don’t think it’s a homophobia — it’s just a generational thing,” Franti said. “In previous generations, people grew up with churches a lot more in their life than today. People in the gay community have made themselves visible and seen as the beautiful people they are; as a productive part of society; as kind and as helpful and willing to participate in the world as anyone else. I think it’s great these things are coming to a head now, and it’s a huge step with Obama coming out in favor of it.

“I think all of the things we view as advances in our society — freedoms like women being able to vote and black kids going to school with white kids — these are things that people struggled for for a long time, and now they’re taken for granted. Gay people can fight and die for our country, but they come back to a country where they can’t be married — I see that as something that’s going to go away on the very near horizon. Whether it’s gender, religious differences or whatever, people should all be treated equally.”

Written by wildsmith

May 28th, 2012 at 6:44 am