Decoded author Jay-Z has come out strongly for gay marriage, saying, "It's no different than discriminating against blacks. It's discrimination, plain and simple." The Week wonders if this endorsement from Beyonce's husband is more influential than Obama's. Not so long ago Jay-Z was rapping about fags and faggots. Now he says of anti-gay marriage homophobia, "I’ve always thought of it as something that is holding the country back. What people do in their own homes is their business and you can choose to love whoever you love. That’s their business."
Ditto Will Smith.
The Kennedy Center announced it will honor Ellen DeGeneres with the 15th Mark Twain Prize. Board member Cappy McGarr (!) said they are not making a political statement by selecting a married lesbian. “This has nothing to do with any political issue,” he said. “But she’s brilliantly shined a light on society, and that’s what Mark Twain did.”
Manchester University has named Jeanette Winterson professor of creative writing for two years. She will teach undergraduates and masters students, and she will do four public events a year. She takes the position after Colm Tóibín's one-year stay, following four years of Martin Amis.