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Reba McEntire On Gay Rights, Same-Sex Marriage And The Evolution Of The Country Music Community

04/21/2015 11:00 am ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016
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Country superstar Reba McEntire has pledged full support for same-sex marriage, noting that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights are "very important" to her for many reasons.

To promote her new album, "Love Somebody," McEntire, 60, spoke to PrideSource's Chris Azzopardi and recalled attending her first same-sex wedding earlier this year.

The singer's newlywed pals Michael and Steven had been together for 20 years before tying the knot, and she said, "I thought that it was not fair, and I didn't understand why they couldn't get married. It wasn't because they just wanted to get married. If one of them had gotten injured and gone to the hospital, the other one couldn't make decisions for them. It's very upsetting. It's not only for convenience or for romantic reasons -- it's for practicality."

McEntire also sounded off on country music's ever-growing line-up of openly gay and lesbian stars, which includes Ty Herndon, Billy Gilman, Chely Wright and Brandy Clark.

"It's really, really sad what they're living with before they decide to come out," she said. "And then why they decide to come out, and how they deal with it after they've come out -- the pressure society puts upon them, their families and what they put upon them, whether they accept it or they don't."

She even joked that she wished she'd titled her album "Love Everybody" instead of "Love Somebody."

"You gotta love people for who they are," she said. "Accept them, and then go on with life."

In a separate interview with NewNowNext, the star described the "evolution" of the country music industry when it came to LGBT issues. "I’ve always held the belief that people should not pass judgment on how others want to live their lives," she said.

McEntire, who has been embraced by gay country fans for some time, has previously spoken out in defense of LGBT rights, but Azzopardi told The Huffington Post that this is the first time the singer has been so forthright about her support of marriage equality in the media.

"I have gay friends who have partners, and I see where they would want to get married," she told Out magazine in 2009. "I understand why. So, I can't judge that."

Head over to PrideSource to read the full interview with Reba McEntire.

Also on HuffPost:

Country Music And The LGBT Community
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