Amy Grant will host a same-sex wedding, Franklin Graham objects, and where does that leave Michael W. Smith?
This article originally appeared on December 20, 2022 at Baptist News Global.
Amy Grant is hosting her niece’s same-sex wedding on her farm, and Franklin Graham wants everyone to know he disapproves.
Of course, this should come as no surprise to Graham.
In a 2013 interview with the LGBTQ news outlet PrideSource, Grant said she knew by the time she was 18 she had a gay fan base. “Even when I was discovering my own sexuality and meeting people that had a different experience, I didn’t categorize then, and I don’t categorize right now. It makes me realize I don’t have any idea of what it would feel like every moment of my life to go somewhere and feel judged.”
The former Contemporary Christian Music star who crossed over to mainstream appeal still maintains a wholesome churchgoing appeal and has moved from cautious to open talk of her support for the LGBTQ community.
Back in 2013, when asked about the politics of gay marriage, she said, “I never talk about anything like that.”
At the time, Ross Murray, senior director of the GLAAD Media Institute, found Grant’s interview to be “somewhat circumspect. She speaks in general terms of loving and accepting everyone throughout her musical career.” He concluded, “If Amy Grant continues on her journey to advocacy for LGBT people, she will be in good company.”
Grant’s journey did continue.
In a 2021 interview with Hannah Juanita on Proud Radio, Grant said: “Who loves us more than the one who made us? … None of us are a surprise to God. Nothing about who we are or what we’ve done. That’s why, to me, it’s so important to set a welcome table. Because I was invited to a table where someone said, ‘Don’t be afraid, you’re loved.’ … Gay. Straight. It does not matter.”
“Who loves us more than the one who made us? … None of us are a surprise to God.”
She added: “It doesn’t matter how we’re wired. We’re all our best selves when we believe to our core, ‘I’m loved.’ And then our creativity flourishes.”
Experience being judged
Grant knows personally about being judged. Her 1999 divorce from Gary Chapman set tongues wagging everywhere. Author Jonathan Poletti wrote of Grant: “If she was Cinderella, this was her midnight.”
Contemporary Christian music stars were not supposed to get divorced. And they certainly were not supposed to remarry as quickly as she and Vince Gill did.
Much of her Christian fan base abandoned her, and she was shamed by the evangelical world that had made her a star.
Yet she kept going. Her accolades now include six Grammy Awards, 26 Dove Awards and inductions into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Music City Walk of Fame and the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
This month, Grant became the first Contemporary Christian Music artist recognized for lifetime artistic achievements by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, an honor commonly known as the Kennedy Center Honors.
Fully out now
Just a month before that gala, Grant gave an interview to the Washington Post where she discussed the upcoming wedding on her farm. A decade after her cautious interview in support for LGBTQ persons, she came out in full support of the thing evangelical Christians fear the most: same-sex marriage.
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