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Homophobia in Music

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Big & Rich and Brad Paisley: Homophobia Country Style
big & rich country band

John Rich of Big & Rich Doesn't Want You Getting Married

Image (c) Kevin Winter

Hip Hop, rap and dancehall music often get labeled as being anti-gay. But country can also bring out some pretty nasty (though often more subtly) homophobic stuff.

The country group Big & Rich is known for songs like Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy. They are also known for writing a song supporting John McCain in the 2008 election, and for lead singer, John Rich's outspoken homophobia.

For example, during a radio show to which he regularly contributes, the country singer went on a rant against gay marriage saying:

"I think if you legalize that, you've got to legalize some other things that are pretty unsavory. You can call me a radical, but how can you tell an aunt that she can't marry her nephew if they are really in love and sharing the bills? How can you tell them they can't get married, but something else that's unnatural can happen?"

While the group isn't overtly homophobic in their songs, the views of its members are pretty well known.

Another country singer, 2008 Grammy nominee, Brad Paisley, has a popular song called, I'm Still a Guy. In it he sings:

Well love makes a man do some things he ain't proud of / And in a weak moment I might walk your sissy dog, hold your purse at the mall / But remember, I'm still a guy /.../ These days there's dudes getting facials / Manicured, waxed and botoxed / With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands / You can't grip a tacklebox / With all of these men lining up to get neutered / It's hip now to be feminized / I don't highlight my hair / I've still got a pair / Yeah honey, I'm still a guy

Now Paisley isn't coming out and saying that manicures, botox and holding a purse make a man "gay." But it isn't exactly a stretch to see homophobia in his condemnation of anything not hyper-masculine.

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