Macklemore has found himself in the middle of a political firestorm in Australia over his plans to sing “Same Love” at the National Rugby League Grand Final in Sydney.
Australia is currently in the middle of a public debate and referendum over whether the country should legalize same-sex marriage.
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The American rapper will be performing at the NRL Grand Final half-time show Oct. 1, but his intention to sing his song about gay rights garnered criticism from some Australians, including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who tweeted his displeasure.
On Thursday, Abbott clarified his position, saying, “Everyone has a right to express their opinion. The opinion that I expressed yesterday was that the NRL had made a poor call in doing what they did.”
According to AP, Macklemore told a radio station in Los Angeles he was aware of the controversy, but that he would still be singing “Same Love”.
“It’s interesting actually because I’m playing ‘Same Love’ and they’re going through right now trying to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia,” Macklemore said, “so I’m getting a lot of tweets from angry, old white dudes in Australia.”
“I think there was a petition today to ban me from playing,” he added. “I’m gonna go harder.”
Abbott’s daughter Frances, who supports the legalization of same-sex marriage, posted her support for Macklemore on Instagram, urging him to “go harder.”
View this post on Instagram
PRESS PLAY ❤️ ❤️❤️ I still remember the first time I heard this song. I was sitting in my car, about to get out to go to work… but stopped and sat and listened. And that same day I went and bought the album and kept it in my car and listened to it over and over and over again. I can't think of a better song for all the hundreds of thousands of people to listen to on Saturday 🏉… This is what we need right now. Go harder @macklemore 🌈✌️#stillnotinterestedinpolitics #justsaying #loveislove #lovewillwin #voteyes #itstime #postalvote #getaroundit #marriageequality #samelove #sweat #goodthingscometothosewhosweat #turnitup #singitloud #singitloudandproud
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg has stood by the decision to have Macklemore perform at the ruby finals. “I think it is one of the bravest and best decisions we have made for pre-match entertainment, but people will be the judge of that on Sunday,” he said.
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Results of Australia’s public ballot on gay marriage will be announced Nov. 15, and if the majority votes “yes,” the parliament will then consider a bill to legalize it. Though some MPs have said they will vote the bill down no matter what the results of the public ballot are.
Macklemore has since told Nine News Sydney he will donate earnings from his song “Same Love” to the Yes campaign in Australia.