Jay-Z, 42-year-old hip-hop mogul, has announced his backing for President Barack Obama's support of same-sex marriage, comparing the issue to discrimination against black people.
During a press conference to announce a "Made In America" music festival taking place in Philadelphia this summer, the rapper spoke about the legalization of gay marriage.
"I've always thought it as something that was still, um, holding the country back," Jay-Z told CNN Monday.
Although religious leaders have seen the issue as one of religious freedom, to define marriage through scriptural guidance, Jay-Z expressed his opinion that he believed it was solely an issue of discrimination: "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."
Obama vocalized that he was in support of gay marriage last week, citing the "golden rule" as his reason.
"Do unto others as you would have them do to you," the president said in an interview with ABC News. "At a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
However, many others have spoken out against Obama's views. The Rev. Joel Hunter of the 15,000-member Northland church, who is often referred to as President Barack Obama's spiritual adviser, said he is disappointed with the president's use of the "Golden Rule" to explain his endorsement of gay marriage.
"The Golden Rule is in the Bible but it cannot be used to contradict God's marriage pattern reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-5," Hunter shared in an interview with The Christian Post. "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and the two shall become one flesh?'"
Also in an interview with the National Conservative Examiner while training in Los Angeles, Calif., Christian boxer Manny Pacquiao spoke about the need for society to put "God's words first."
While the 33-year-old boxer said he respected Obama as a person, he told the Examiner that the president should read the Bible, or "manual of life," to better society.
"God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married, only if they so are in love with each other," Pacquiao said. "It should not be of the same sex so as to adulterate the altar of matrimony, like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah of old."