In the midst of Australia’s national postal ballot on same-sex marriage, American rapper Macklemore performed his 2012 hit single, “Same Love” — widely considered a gay anthem — to a crowd of more than 80,000 at a rugby league final in Sydney on Sunday.
During Macklemore’s performance, stadium screens displayed the National Rugby League (NRL) logo atop messages like “We stand for equality,” definitively declaring the sports league’s stance on whether the country should legalize same-sex marriage.
The Australian government sent ballots to 16 million voters last month asking whether the nation should lift its prohibition on gay marriage. Results of the postal ballot will be announced Nov. 15.
NRL bosses resisted pressure last week to stop Macklemore from performing the song despite a petition signed by just over 18,000 people calling for the performance to be banned.
Instead, the song promoting gay rights rose to number one on the Australian iTunes chart where it remained ahead of the match on Sunday.
Macklemore pledged to donate proceeds from the Australian sales of the song to help the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage.
“I want to donate my portion of the proceeds from Same Love that I get off of that record here in Australia to voting YES,” Macklemore said in a Channel Nine interview posted on his Twitter feed on Saturday.
Along with Macklemore, a number of other celebrities have been urging Australians to vote "yes" in the upcoming postal vote.
“I believe it's a HUMAN RIGHT to be able to marry the person you love regardless of gender,” Australian actor Chris Hemsworth wrote in a Sept. 19 Instagram post. “To all the Australians that care about equality and human rights please say YES to same sex marriage.”
Liz Owen, director of communications for PFLAG — the largest organization for family, friends and allies of the LGBTQ community — commended Macklemore and other allies for standing with the community.
“Macklemore did what any good ally does, which is speak out in support of their LGBTQ loved ones when they have the opportunity to do so,” Owen told NBC News.
Owen also shared a message to those who are accusing Macklemore of politicizing a sports event by performing "Same Love."
“Love isn’t an agenda,” she said. “Love isn’t — and should never be — political.”