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06/23/2011

Anti-equality candidates, pro-equality artists: Sign of growth or slap in the face?

by Jeremy Hooper

MTV News hits on something that's been a personal peeve of mine for a while: Anti-LGBT candidates using anthemic songs that were written/performed by staunchly pro-gay artists:

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is easily one of the most mainstream anti-gay politicians in America. She believes legalized gay marriage will result in the indoctrination of homosexuality in children (because that’s how it works, duh!), and lead the charge to pass a constitutional amendment in Minnesota, which she represents in the U.S. Congress, banning gay marriage. Bachmann has said teaching children that being gay is OK is akin to child abuse and that being gay is “part of Satan.” She also said, “If you're involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it's bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”

So it’s pretty odd that she is using Katy Perry’s smash “Firework” as a campaign anthem. Over the weekend, she entered the conservative RightOnline conference (where she was “glitter bombed”) in Minneapolis to the song.

KEEP READING: Anti-Gay Political Candidate Uses Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ As Campaign Song, Clearly Has Never Listened To It [MTV News]

I was actually in the room...

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....when Bachmann spoke, and I can tell you that it wasn't just Katy Perry. The event -- which also featured anti-equality speakers like Michelle Malkin and Congressman Tim Huelskamp -- was punctuated with multiple "Glee" tunes (including one performed by the very pro-equality Idina Menzell), some Lady Gaga songs, a Miley Cyrus hit, a touch of Britney, and several other artists who've gone on record for rights that Bachmann and company staunchly oppose. Hell, rights that the Republican platform itself opposes! Is there not incongruity there?

Sure, music belongs to all of us. The pop songbook is part of our shared culture and tunes are certainly open to personal interpretation. But Katy Perry? Gaga? "Glee"? These are artists and outlets that have made their contributions to the notion of acceptance almost as prominent as their contributions to the iTunes charts. So is it really fair for someone like Michelle Bachmann, who's so publicly and proudly anti-every-last-LGBT-right, to reap the rewards that these musicians bring to the ears while simultaneously tearing down the peaceful virtues these same artists so proudly treasure? In what some might consider a mark of diversity, is there not, in fact, hypocrisy?

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