Jay-Z: Why I Support Gay Marriage

Celebrity News May. 15, 2012 AT 7:30PM
Jay-Z attends the press conference announcing Budweiser Made in America music festival at Philadelphia Museum of Art on May 14, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jay-Z attends the press conference announcing Budweiser Made in America music festival at Philadelphia Museum of Art on May 14, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Credit: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

He recently celebrated his fourth wedding anniversary with Beyonce Knowles, and now Jay-Z wants to ensure that every couple -- gay and straight -- is able to do the same.

The "Who Gon Stop Me" rapper, 42, voiced his support for same-sex marriage Monday during a Budweiser music festival press conference in Philadelphia.

PHOTOS: Celebrity LGBT allies

"I have always thought of it as something that is still holding the country back," Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) told CNN's Poppy Harlow, 30. "What people do in their own homes is their business, and you can choose to love whoever you love. That's their business. It is no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple."

The 14-time Grammy Award winner and first-time father to daughter Blue Ivy, 5 months, joins a growing list of celebrities and politicians who are using their fame as a platform for social change; President Barack Obama, 50, recently came out in support of same-sex marriage during an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts.

PHOTOS: The Obama family album

"I think it was the right thing to do," Jay-Z said of the President's history-making change of heart. "It's really not about votes. It's about people. So whether it cost him votes or not, I think it was the right thing to do as a human being." (His wife, 30, sang Etta James' "At Last" at Obama's inauguration in 2009.)

Other stars who have applauded Obama's new stance include reality star Kim Kardashian, 31, and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, 54.

PHOTOS: Out and proud stars

"We've never had a President so supportive of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and today I am proud to be an American!" Kardashian blogged May 9. "I'm so happy that our country is making history and moving forward. No more living in the past!"

Echoed DeGeneres: "There have been moments in history when someone has had the courage to stand up for what they believe in and that one action changes everything. I hope that this is one of those times. It takes a brave man to take a stand like this especially in an election year. Mr. President, to you, I say, thank you, very, very much."

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