Grammys: Macklemore and Madonna Praised by GLAAD For Mass Wedding (Exclusive)

Macklemore Madonna Grammys - H 2014
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis thanked the rap duo for celebrating "the love and commitment of gay couples today."

Macklemore and Madonna made television history Sunday when 33 same-sex (and opposite-sex) couples were married live on air during their Grammys performance, and GLAAD, in a statement exclusive to The Hollywood Reportercalled it "the latest in a long line of signs that our nation not only accepts, but celebrates the love and commitment of gay couples today." 

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"When such a critically acclaimed and popular rap artist puts marriage equality center stage at one of the biggest events of the year, it is the latest in a long line of signs that our nation not only accepts, but celebrates the love and commitment of gay couples today," said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis (who is married to Kristen Henderson of the band Antigone Rising). "Macklemore and Ryan Lewis aren't only talented musicians, but are setting the bar high for our allies around the country today."

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The 33 gay and straight weddings were officiated by Queen Latifah while the hit song "Same Love" was performed by the rap duo, along with Mary Lambert and jazz artist Trombone Shorty.

The mass of couples then exchanged rings at the same time as Madonna pronounced them wed and emerged to sing her classic song, "Open Your Heart."

A THR reporter at the show noted that at the end of the historical television moment, Ringo Starr was overheard saying to Paul McCartney, "Let's all renew our vows." McCartney then shook the hands of every couple that walked by.

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GLAAD also tweeted its support of the equal rights awareness performance earlier in the evening, saying: "Congrats to #LGBT allies @macklemore and@RyanLewis! #GRAMMYs."

Backstage after the show, Macklemore detailed why the event was so important. "It's a message of quality, tolerance, compassion, to end homophobia, bigotry and hatred which has been an institution here in America," he told reporters. 

"Loving who you want to love. I don't think a song like 'Same Love' would be embraced years ago. It's a testament to where we're headed in this country."

Meanwhile, Ryan Lewis, whose sister was one of the newlyweds, added: "It was amazing to work with Madonna and Queen Latifah. We're grateful to be here."