Brandi Carlile, Little Big Town + More Stand Up for LGBTQ+ Rights at the 2020 Grammys
Backstage before the 2020 Grammy Awards, GLAAD -- a media organization dedicated to promoting acceptance of members of the LGBTQ+ community -- spoke to stars on the red carpet about a troubling new piece of legislation in Tennessee.
Governor Bill Lee recently signed into law HB 836, which will make it easier for child welfare organizations to refuse to place children in any foster care or family that "would violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions," according to the Tennessee General Assembly's website. The bill provides protection for adoption agencies wishing to turn away LGBTQ+ parents.
For country artists, the bill was particularly relevant, as many of them live in Tennessee or spend significant time in Nashville. Little Big Town, Billy Ray Cyrus and Angaleena Presley were a few of the acts who spoke out against the bill at the ceremony.
Presley, who notched a nomination at the awards show with her band the Pistol Annies, explained that she had a close friend who was part of the LGBTQ+ community, and that her friend had adopted two children. "She's a supermom, and she's raising two girls who are gonna make this planet a better place," Presley explained.
"It's just, open-mindedness, kindness and love will cure and help," she noted.
As a parent in a same-sex marriage herself, Brandi Carlile spoke from first-hand experience about the importance of keeping parenthood equally accessible for members of the LGBTQ+ community.
"I can tell you that we're fabulous parents, and we just want the right to be a family, to be happy, to bless children that don't already have homes," Carlile explained. "And as a woman of faith myself, I cannot see Jesus wanting to disallow any family from an adoption."
Furthermore, Carlile said that although she feels too much of a responsibility to the queer community in Tennessee to boycott he state, straight allies could certainly put economic pressure on Tennessee in order to help call for the bill's removal.
"I strongly suggest that people who aren't queer maybe could in some instances [boycott the state], to create an issue economically," she suggested. "I'm keeping a close eye on it. I have tons of compassion for the couples that are struggling with this in Tennessee, and let's just hope it doesn't catch on."
Alabama Shakes bandmate, solo artist and Alabama native Brittany Howard had a succinct message for those who would see LGBTQ+ people have unequal rights.
"What do I have to say to 'em? I guess we have nothing to talk about. You either get out of the way, or we'll walk over you," she quipped with a smile.
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