Archive for the ‘President Obama’ tag
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.”