Willie Nelson loves love. “Love is what I live on. Love is what keeps me going,” he wrote in his 2006 book The Tao Of Willie. And Wednesday night, in an interview in Austin on his tour bus, Willie said he believes love doesn’t discriminate, “and it shouldn’t be discriminated against.”
Nelson has been watching the Supreme Court arguments over same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “[Gay people] should be just as miserable as the rest of us,” quipped Nelson, before giving a more nuanced explanation of what he says has been a life-long, unwavering belief that all people deserve equal protection under the law.
After the interview, and just before heading into Austin’s ACL Live at the Moody Theater to play a fundraiser for the Darrell K Royal Research Fund for Alzheimer’s Disease, Nelson posed for a Texas Monthly photographer with a series of signs created by the Austin-based design agency Helms Workshop and printed by Austin’s East End Ink. The first is a straightforward reproduction of the pink equal sign—the logo of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign—that has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter over the past few days. Helms also designed two Willie-specific variations on the image, one with his trademark braids and another with a pair of marijuana cigarettes. Both images are available for download below for use as avatars on your Facebook or Twitter account. Or whatever else you want to do with them. It’s a free country, you know.
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