The rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have become an issue at the forefront of international politics. In addition to penetrating the political sphere, this topic has become a hot topic in the pop world; countless movies, television episodes and songs have been dedicated to the advancement of LGBT rights. One of the most popular efforts has been by hip-hop artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Macklemore, a 30-year-old rapper from Washington, stormed onto the hip-hop stage in 2005 with his socially conscious songs that address topics ranging from homosexuality to drug abuse. He met his partner and soon to be producer, Lewis, in 2006, and they have been an unstoppable duo since.
This past year, Macklemore and Lewis won numerous awards for their newest album, “The Heist,” that includes “Same Love,” a song featuring the vocals of Mary Lambert. The song addresses urges the legalization of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights. The song has sold over 2,000,000 copies and peaked at #11 on the United States Billboard Hot 100 charts. This past week, the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign recognized Macklemore & Lewis as “Equality Champions” for their contributions to the LGBT community.
The Free & Equal campaign was created by Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, as a response to the increasing number of human rights violations against LGBT people. The United Nations also created its first resolution to address the inequality. Macklemore and Lewis responded to the honor by thanking the U.N. for allowing it to “help spread a message of equality and respect.” Macklemore also added, “Ryan and I have always believed that human rights are for everyone- no exceptions.”
Other celebrities, including Ricky Martin, have also taken part in the Free & Equal campaign.
– Lienna Feleke-Eshete