Many celebrities support gay rights and marriage, but some voices stand out a little more than others. Here is a list of celebrities who have been outspoken when it comes to gay rights and who have dedicated time and resources to the cause.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie come to mind when we think of celebrities who support gay rights because of their bold declaration (back before it was cool) that they would not get married until all people can get married. The couple is engaged, but true to their word, they haven’t walked down the aisle yet. Pitt also donated $100,000 to Human Rights Campaign’s National Marriage Fund to pass same-sex marriage initiatives in several states.
Our favorite rebel old-school country crooner, Willie Nelson, makes his own rules. He pays his taxes when he’s damn good and ready, if at all. He gets high with Snoop Dogg and he’s outspoken on gay marriage. Nelson told Texas Monthly in 2013, “I’ve known straight and gay people all my life. I can’t tell the difference. People are people where I come from.” Nelson seemed downright annoyed by the fact that the issue hasn’t been completely settled, saying, “It’s ridiculous to me that this is something we’re having a conversation about in this day and age.” We love his, “Are we still talking about this?” attitude.
Macklemore joked with Chelsea Handler that if you Google the word “is” that “Macklemore gay” pops up right behind it. Despite the world thinking that he and producer Ryan Lewis are gay, they aren’t. Not that there is anything wrong with that, according to Macklemore and his love-for-all anthem “Same Love.” When he took the stage at the 2013 VMAs, he said, “Gay rights are human rights. There is no separation.”
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Kathy Griffin, like other icons (Cher, Lady Gaga), is well known for her love of gay people. It’s tough to cherry-pick our favorite quote of funny-gal Griffin’s as it pertains to gay marriage, but we found a dandy from 2009 when she participated in a Proposition 8 (a ballot measure barring gay and lesbian couples from state-sanctioned wedlock) protest march in Sacramento. She said, “I’ve got a few questions for those who supported Proposition 8. My question is a very profound one. What the f*** is it to you?” She went on to talk about the dismal financial problems with the state, baffled that people would be so preoccupied with gay marriage. Prop 8 was later overturned in June, 2013.
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Clint Eastwood is known for his tough-guy ways and conservative views, but he is very vocal about his support of gay marriage. In 2012, Eastwood appeared on Ellen and talked about how the country had such bigger issues to worry about, and that he was libertarian in his thinking — socially liberal and fiscally conservative. The Dirty Harry actor told GQ in 2011, “I don’t give a f*** about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We’re making a big deal out of things we shouldn’t be making a deal out of. Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want.”
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Pink doesn’t shy away from saying what she thinks, and she’s got some strong opinions when it comes to gay rights. She told GayDar Radio, “I think that the best day will be when we no longer talk about being gay or straight — it’s not a ‘gay wedding,’ it’s just a ‘wedding.’ It’s not a ‘gay marriage,’ it’s just ‘a marriage.’ It’s not a ‘black man’ or ‘white woman,’ it’s just ‘a man’ and ‘a woman,’ or ‘a human’ and ‘a human.’ I’d just like to get to that.”
George Clooney, who has long been accused of being gay, doesn’t care what you think about his orientation and has stubbornly refused to confirm or deny the rumors. He told the Advocate, “I think it’s funny, but the last thing you’ll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, ‘These are lies!’ That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing. My private life is private, and I’m very happy in it. Who does it hurt if someone thinks I’m gay? I’ll be long dead and there will still be people who say I was gay. I don’t give a s***.” Doesn’t leave much room for argument, does it?
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Another is-he-or-isn’t-he actor, Josh Hutcherson has been an advocate of the LBGT community for years, which stems from having two gay uncles who died of AIDS. Hutcherson’s activism won him GLAAD’s Vanguard Award in 2012. In November 2013, the Hunger Games heartthrob went all Clooney on us and told Out magazine, “I would probably list myself as mostly straight. Maybe I could say right now I’m 100 per cent straight. But who knows? In a f***ing year, I could meet a guy and be like, ‘Whoa, I’m attracted to this person.’ I’ve met guys all the time that I’m like, ‘Damn, that’s a good-looking guy,’ you know? I’ve never been, like, ‘Oh, I want to kiss that guy.’ I really love women. But I think defining yourself as 100 per cent anything is kind of near-sighted and close-minded.”
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Jay Z, whose rap genre is known for its homophobic slurs (and who has used a few in his early career) told CNN in 2012, “What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business.” He went on to say that discriminating against gay people was the same as discriminating against blacks and that “it’s discrimination, plain and simple.”
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Jay Z’s pal and “Holy Grail” sidekick Justin Timberlake also supports gay marriage. After same-sex marriage was passed in New York, JT told the Advocate, “I was stoked. I mean, I was stoked that that happened. I think it’s just… we’re people and we’re different, all of us. And we should be using our differences to bring ourselves closer together. You know? Not be afraid of something that we don’t know. I have a lot of guy friends who are gay. Two of my best friends are a couple, and my conversation with them is, like, it’s unfortunate that things take a while to progress like this, but it was a great, great victory for equality. I’m proud that New York has balls to stand up for what’s right.”