Malcolm Turnbull

Dutton says pro and anti-same sex marriage songs should be performed at NRL final after Macklemore controversy


Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said an anti same-sex marriage song should also be performed at the NRL Grand Final if Macklemore sings his hit, 'Same Love'.

Following a presentation at the Policy Exchange think tank in London overnight, Mr Dutton said two songs should be played at the NRL Grand Final if US rapper Macklemore was allowed to perform his pro-marriage equality song.

“I am into free speech... presumably two songs should be played, one for gay marriage and one against gay marriage,’’ he reportedly said, according to The Australian.

Mr Dutton also said sporting events are the wrong places for political messages.

“I don’t think Australian parents taking kids to the footy want political messages down their throat,” he added.

Macklemore presents the award for best lyrics at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Forum on Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Inglewood, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Macklemore presents the award for best lyrics at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Forum on Sunday, March 5, 2017, in Inglewood, Calif.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has again defended the NRL’s decision to have US rapper Macklemore perform his pro-same-sex-marriage anthem 'Same Love' at Sunday’s grand final.

A handful of conservatives, including former prime minister Tony Abbott, have criticised the move.

But the Prime Minister has defended the decision in a series of media interviews.

"It's a question of respecting the artist," he told Nine’s Today show on Friday morning.

"That's one of his top songs, one of his hits. People expect him to play it. He wants to play it. The NRL supports same-sex marriage, what's the problem?

"Honestly I don't think trying to censor the playlist at half-time entertainment is certainly not my role. I look forward to it."

Since the controversy erupted, 'Same Love' - which was released in 2013 - has moved to number one spot on the iTunes chart and its music video sits in the number two spot as of Friday at 8.55am AEST.

Macklemore tweeted on Friday claiming, "Love is winning".

It was reported by Junkee both the song and the video were sitting in the number one spot on the Australian charts earlier this week.

On Thursday night, Mr Turnbull told Network Ten's The Project the attempts to silence the song were out of step with liberal free speech values.

The controversy was triggered when Mr Abbott tweeted on Wednesday that league fans "shouldn't be subjected to a politicised grand final".

"Sport is sport," he added.

Attorney-General George Brandis sided with the Prime Minister.

He argued the song was one of Macklemore's hits.

"I thought Mr Abbott believed in freedom of speech," Senator Brandis he said earlier in the week. 

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