Judas Priest’s Rob Halford Weighs in on Chick-fil-A Anti-Gay Scandal
A few days ago, Noisecreep had the pleasure of talking with Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford. We were on the phone with the Metal God discussing the upcoming 30th anniversary of their landmark Screaming for Vengeance album. Featuring future heavy metal anthems such as “Electric Eye” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,'” the album broke Judas Priest into the American mainstream when it first hit stores in 1982.
After chatting about Screaming for Vengeance (the interview will run next month on Noisecreep), we asked the openly gay Halford about his thoughts on the recent Chick-fil-A scandal that is all over the media right now.
If you haven’t been following the story, when asked about his thoughts on gay marriage in a radio interview in late July, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy stated: “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say ‘we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’ and I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”
Since the interview, Chick-fil-A has been in the media spotlight, with supporters of Cathy’s statements heading to the restaurant’s many franchises throughout the country on Aug. 1 in what was dubbed “Appreciation Day.” On the other side of the controversy, gay rights supporters have united in protest, even having a “kiss in” in Fresno, Calif.
“Before I get into this, I just want to say that I love America. I love the American Constitution and the First Amendment,” says Halford, 60, whose main residence is in Phoenix, Ariz. “I’m actually watching a PBS documentary that I got on DVD about the life of John Adams. If you really get into the heart and soul of this great country, it’s all about the constitution and the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
“Everybody in this country has the right to say what they think and feel and what best represents them. The people at Chick-fil-A have the absolute right to say and do what they want. It doesn’t matter that all of these people disagree with their opinion. The question was how would the people that agree with what that man said do to support the company and how would the ones against his anti-gay remarks protest.
“The supporters have been showing up in droves, to spend money at the restaurants and peacefully assemble. But there has obviously been so many people who have gone out and boycotted the company. I think it’s great. That’s our right here. What you’re seeing here are the elements of the American Constitution in all of their glory. It’s a wonderful thing to see happening and talk about and the fact that everyone is discussing the gay rights issue is great.”
Before our interview ended, Halford wanted to be clear about his stance on the anti-gay marriage issue: “I don’t think that man thought too much about the business consequences of what he said, but I think he was standing for what he believes in. I don’t agree with him at all, but God bless the man. It’s as simple as that.”
Screaming for Vengeance: Special 30th Anniversary Edition will hit stores on Sept. 4 and will include a special, re-mastered edition of the album, as well as some bonus songs and a DVD of the metal greats’ show on May 29, 1983, at the US Festival in San Bernardino, Calif.