RELEVANT JULY 12, 2021

Over on Apple Music’s Proud Radio, host Hunter Kelly hosted a conversation about the LGBTQ community’s place in Country music. Among his guests was CCM icon Amy Grant, who told Kelly that she believes it’s important to “set a welcome table” to all people, regardless of sexual orientation.

Grant made the remarks while promoting the 30th anniversary of Heart in Motion, the album that broke her through to the Top 40 mainstream and made her a fixture of millions of evangelical cassette players in the 90s with hits like “Good For Me,” “Every Heartbeat” and, of course, “Baby, Baby.” Now, she’s expressing her feelings about God’s love of all people to Kelly, who himself is gay.

“Who loves us more than the one who made us? None of us are a surprise to God. Nothing about who we are or what we’ve done. That’s why, to me, it’s so important to set a welcome table. Because I was invited to a table where someone said ‘don’t be afraid, you’re loved.’ …Gay. Straight. It does not matter. It doesn’t matter how we behave. It doesn’t matter how we’re wired. We’re all our best selves when we believe to our core, ‘I’m loved.’ And then our creativity flourishes. We’re like, ‘I’m gonna arrange flowers on your table and my table.’ When we’re loved, we’re brave enough to say yes to every good impulse that comes to us.”

The conversation begins around the 137:00 mark here.

Grant has dealt with controversy from Christian audiences at several points in her career, both for embracing more mainstream pop and, later, her divorce from CCM artist Gary Chapman. These days, Grant has become more active in Nashville’s Country Music scene along with her husband Vince Gill, though her legacy as a trailblazing figure in Contemporary Christian Music is secure.

On social media, Grant’s words were celebrated by members of the LGBTQ community, including Kelly himself, who shared a very personal story of Grant’s impact on his life and faith, giving him the courage to seek therapy for the sexual abuse he suffered as a child.

But, to hear Amy say on this episode that I am welcome at God’s table as a gay man is so affirming. Thank you, Amy Grant. You’ve changed my life in so many ways. God has worked many of Her greatest wonders in my life through you. (I call God “She” to fight the patriarchy.)(9/9)

— Hunter Kelly (@hunterkelly) July 11, 2021

Grant’s words were also cheered by Semler, a.k.a Grace Baldridge, a queer artist who is Christian and has publicly called for more Christians to affirm the LGBTQ community.

Trey Pearson, formerly the lead singer of the CCM band Everyday Sunday who came out as gay in 2016, also shared his appreciation of Grant, noting that “she’s the best.”

Grant will be on tour to support Heart In Motion this fall.