Friday, November 6, 2009

Voice for Equality: Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge is known for her high-energy music, craggy vocals, and for being one of the first rock stars to be openly gay. Etheridge had her first hit tune with Bring Me Some Water in 1998, and she won Grammy Awards for best female rock vocal performance for Ain't It Heavy (1992) and Come To My Window (1994). Her albums include Melissa Etheridge (1988), Never Enough (1992), Yes I Am (1993), Breakdown (1999) and Lucky (2004). Etheridge also won an Oscar in 2007 for her song I Need To Wake Up, an original song for the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth (2006). Learn more here.

Etheridge is famous as a gay rights activist, having come out publicly as a lesbian in January 1993 at the Triangle Ball, a gay/lesbian celebration of President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. Etheridge had a long-term partnership with Julie Cypher, during which Cypher gave birth to two children, Bailey Jean, born 10 February 1997, and Beckett, born November 1998. On September 19, 2000, Etheridge and Cypher announced they were separating. In April 2003, Etheridge became engaged to actress Tammy Lynn Michaels and the two married in Malibu, CA on September 20, 2003 (although California did not legally honor marriages between same-sex couples at that time). Michaels gave birth to twins, a son Miller Steven and a daughter Johnnie Rose, in October of 2006.

It was announced on October 14, 2009 that Melissa Etheridge will be a participant in the Love Unites Shepard Fairey Equality Project, a new marriage equality advocacy project for which more than 80 celebrities will be signing their names to a Shepard Fairey print titled Defend Equality - Love Unites. Fairey, whose Obama Hope print became the iconic emblem of President Obama’s 2008 campaign, was approached by FAIR, an LGBT grassroots marriage equality organization, to commission an image that would help unite and inspire the marriage equality movement. “I am proud to contribute the Defend Equality Love Unites image to the fight for marriage equality, and commend FAIR for putting this image to good use." The signed prints will be sold in online auctions starting in November 2009, with the official launch event being held at the Andaz West Hollywood hotel on November 12th. VIP tickets for the event are $100. [Link]

Freedom to Marry salutes Melissa Etheridge as a Voice for Equality! See other Voices for Equality here.

If Melissa's support inspires you - get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

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