Pop Culture First to the Altar on Gay Marriage

By Dan Kloeffler

Mar 26, 2013 2:51pm

From Hollywood to Madison Avenue, producers and performers have made the case for gay marriage in the realm of pop culture where the audience sits on the bench.

Take “The Golden Girls.” In a 1991 episode of the seven-season sitcom, before gay marriage was on the books in any state, Blanche the Southern belle wrestled with her conscience when her gay brother announced he was marrying his boyfriend.

And Roseanne’s signature wry humor broke nervous tension about gay marriage, when she organized her boss’ nuptials to a man on her sitcom that ended nine seasons in 1997.

“Friends” (’94-’04), All My Children” (’70-’11) and “Brothers and Sisters” (’06-’11), all popular shows, were unafraid to introduce happily married same-sex couples.

And in lyrics, there was a raw plea for marriage equality from the artists Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in their 2012 song “Same Love.” The weakness of a young boy, struggling with his sexuality, transforms into a powerful force advocating for same-sex marriage.

Even classic Americana, like Archie Comics, confidently stepped up to the alter. In 2012, new addition to Riverdale High School, Kevin Keller, tied the knot with his longtime boyfriend in the comic world’s first gay wedding.

Advertisers, too, are embracing gay marriage, weaving them into their commercial narratives like this spot for Kindle.

And there’s this “status update” from Outlook, showing two blushing brides telling the world about their wedding.

And as the Constitution is interpreted in the case of gay marriage, the songs, the shows and the products Americans consume continue to make their case for marriage equality.

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