Jack Antonoff of fun. has long worked in support of gay rights and marriage equality. SPIN spoke with the guitarist shortly after the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. This is what he had to say:
The ruling is a giant step forward. We’ve seen a lot of small steps before this and now we’re seeing that those small steps lead to bigger things. Today is one of those days where it feels like anything is possible. All those other days when it seemed like it would be 10 years, 20 years, 30 years before we got what we wanted . . . it feels like we’re a lot closer to equality for everyone.
A lot of the not-so-obvious elements of how we got here are really interesting to me. Like the way that fair depictions of sexuality are finding their way into TV and movies and music. When that happens it totally takes the fear out of the issue and shows how normal gay, bisexual, and transgender people are. We’re all the same — we just have different ways of loving. Seeing those depictions in mainstream culture has had an effect. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that teenagers and people in their 20s and 30s have made this their issue. They’re the ones consuming pop culture and they have the fire to make a change. Gay rights is the civil rights issue of our time.
Look at people like Lady Gaga or shows like Glee, or actors like Andrew Rannells and people like Tavi Gevinson: Whether they’re gay, straight, female, male, or feminists they’re all standing up for equality. That’s massive. If you’re a 14-year-old kid in Arkansas struggling with your sexuality, who do you have to look up to? You don’t necessarily know about Harvey Milk. But you see Glee telling stories about all different kinds of people and telling people being gay is okay. Just seeing that is having a massive effect.
The Supreme Court ruling is the ultimate sign that things are moving in the right direction. Think about it: If you’re a gay kid and you go home after school and you tell your parents that the kids are making fun of you because you’re gay, they can say those other kids are idiots, but what message is it sending if your state or country is legally telling you that there’s something wrong with you? So I think this ruling is huge. It’s the government saying that you’re not less than somebody else. There will still be decades of figuring things out and people learning to accept one another. But that’s where we’re headed, and this is the proof.