Country music superstar Carrie Underwood has come out in support of gay marriage — and at least one conservative political group is saying, "Good for her."
Underwood, who's set to play London's Royal Albert Hall this month, expressed her opinion to the Independent. The British paper, in turn, promptly wondered whether the country-crossover darling risked the "wrath" of her genre's traditionally conservative fan base.
"As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love and want to marry," Underwood told the Independent. "I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love."
Raised a Baptist and known for hits including "Jesus Take the Wheel," the singer told the paper she and husband Mike Fisher, who plays for the NHL's Nashville Predators, now attend a nondenominational, "gay-friendly" Christian church. Underwood's outlook is similar to that of singer and Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, another devout heterosexual Christian from the South who is sympathetic to gay issues.
"Good for her," said Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and executive director of GOProud, an organization that bills itself as "the voice of gay conservatives and their straight allies."
"You know, Carrie Underwood isn't any different from anyone else in America," LaSalvia said Monday in an e-mail to The Times. "The more Americans think about how issues affect their gay friends and family the more they come to realize that supporting same-sex civil marriage is the right thing to do. More and more people are coming to that conclusion — and that includes conservative Christians.
Fellow "American Idol" alum Clay Aikens, who in May finished second to Arsenio Hall on "Celebrity Apprentice" and came out as a gay man in September 2008, was supportive as well.
"Way to go @carrieunderwood!! Speak out bravely and honestly," Aiken said Sunday in a tweet that linked to the Independent interview. "Your words are gonna change minds!"
Not all minds, however. As noted by the Washington Post, some commenters were less than supportive of Underwood in a heated discussion on the Taste of Country website, citing the Bible and saying they'd lost respect for the singer.