Madonna performed ‘Open Your Heart’ at the Grammys on Sunday night after Queen Latifah officiated the mass wedding of 33 gay and transgendered couples during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance of ‘Same Love,’ which has become a marriage equality anthem. Lewis’ own sister Laura even was apart of the mass wedding.
A few Christian leaders were not shy in voicing their opinion, and even more Christians were outraged that the Grammy’s would take the focus off music to make such a statement. Below are some of the comments that poured in on twitter, and some additional back-story.
Dressed in a sparkling evening dress, Queen Latifah glowed as she introduced the duo at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The stage was decorated with neon lights that echoed architecture and stained glass work commonly seen in churches.
The wedding’s rehearsal took place on Saturday, where the couples walked up and down aisles near the main GRAMMY stage. Show producer Ken Ehrlich stated that putting the soon-to-be-wed pairs onstage ‘could be viewed as more exploitative.’
“It seemed like less of a ‘show’ than if I put them onstage,’ Ehrlich explained. ‘I don’t want them to feel as though they’re on parade,’ he told the New York Times.
The idea for the weddings originated last fall when Mr. Ehrlich sat down with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis over lunch to brainstorm ideas for a possible performance. Knowing that their concerts have occasionally featured onstage marriage proposals, Mr. Ehrlich suggested taking it a step further with a full wedding.
The band was into it, so a casting agency was hired to find the couples, who at first were told only that the ceremony would take place on live television. The couples each signed confidentiality agreements — promising not to tell even their families.
Defending the multi-marriage stunt from critics against the Grammy wedding ceremony, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Neil Portnoy said, ‘I expect that people with all kinds of opinions might voice them, and that’s healthy, but we don’t need to stoop to the level of trying to find gimmicks and sensationalistic approaches to what we do.’
Earlier in the evening, the group won Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Performance, and Best Rap Song.