Country music superstar Carrie Underwood has come out in support of gay marriage in a new interview with England's The Independent, citing her marriage, to hockey player Mike Fisher, and Christian faith for her conviction.
"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," she said, a surprising comment from a star whose fan base lies so squarely in the conservative heart of the country. "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."
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Underwood, who described her church as gay-friendly, said that "above all, God wanted us to love others. It's not about setting rules, or [saying] 'everyone has to be like me'. No. We're all different. That's what makes us special. We have to love each other and get on with each other."
Feedback from her fans and conservatives alike has thus far been uniformly positive, with the group GOProud heralding the star for her support.
"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," said the right-wing group's cofounder Jimmy LaSalvia in a statement to the LA Times. "More and more people are coming to that conclusion -- and that includes conservative Christians."
Underwood's interview comes at a time in which many prominent figures have spoken out in favor of the issue, including President Barack Obama and rapper Jay-Z.
The country star's new album, "Blown Away," debuted atop the Billboard 200 after its May 19 release and her latest single, "Good Girl," has ascended to the top of the Country Singles chart, her 12th No. 1.